LVB9 © 2009 Wayne Roberts, 242 cm (w) x 204 cm (h) x 172 cm (d)
3-D work on two doors and black woollen stretched textile.
Two Doors: Mixed media: CD-collage, oxides, detritus, mixed aqueous paints, acrylic media, water, inks, applied with aged implements. Intaglio lineation. Black woollen textile on stretcher frame with titanium, internal lighting.
10 CDs in triangular formation (top right). This area has embedded stereo-sound-responsive Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
Ludwig van Beethoven's final symphony, The Ninth.
The 9th symphony of Beethoven is arguably one of the greatest symphonies ever written.
Most will know Beethoven was completely deaf when he composed this monumental work.
That he was a genius is unquestionable, and it could almost be said, he virtually 'owned' the genre of the symphony (at least in the Classical and embryonic Romantic Periods). It's remarkable that four, maybe five, of his nine symphonies are among the most loved symphonies even to this day.
The 9th was without doubt a pivotal work. A landmark piece in the history of music. Many composers who followed were inspired or influenced by it. It was even influential in determining the diameter of CDs at 12cm in the early 1980s. (At that time, it was decided that a CD should be able to fit an entire performance of Beethoven's 9th on a single CD. The longest recording of Beethoven's 9th was found (an old mono, approx 78mins), and that became the benchmark, hence 12cm. [The story has some interesting twists and turns, but that's the gist of it.]
The earlier movements, often with passages of agitation, seem to reflect his battle against the deafness that had gradually and relentlessly overtaken him. The last movement is in stark contrast to the earlier ones. In the final movement, he ever so serenely introduces the main theme of the final movement, via an unornamented beautiful melody, on strings and subdued orchestra. This theme builds rather steeply (and dramatically) to usher in the finale, including parts for four vocal soloists, and large choir. (It is the first symphony to employ the human voice as a virtual instrument.)
Beethoven couldn't conduct the premiere of his Symphony No 9 (May 7, 1824) due to his profound deafness. Yet he was by the conductor's side following the score, and reportedly quite animated. Story has it that he was a couple of bars behind when the work ended to rapturous applause and ovations. The deaf Beethoven had to be physically turned around by one of the vocal soloists so that he could "see" the applause. He received fully five standing ovations (which was considered disrespectful of the royals, because only royalty were deemed worthy enough of receiving up to a maximum of three ovations.) Beethoven eventually left the hall after the tumultuous reception, and was reportedly deeply overcome with emotion.
Ludwig van Beethoven died during a thunderstorm on 26 March 1827. "His friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who was present at the time, claimed that there was a peal of thunder at the moment of death" (Wikipedia).