Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Philosophy- Clarity of Passion

Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.

Passion propels excellence. It is the difference between sweet strains of Mary Had a Little Lamb and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor.

Adapted as the European Union anthem, one of the greatest of all musical creations was created against all odds. It was not a straight line from idea to creation. Many projects; life, intervened.Long before the masterpiece was finished, the maestro was completely deaf.

His production would be the first major symphony to employ voices. The addition of choir and soloists shattered contemporary convention as they sang the final movement- the "Ode to Joy". Conducting the first public performance, he heard neither the music, nor the audience's appreciation. An assistant turned Beethoven around for him to see the enthusiastic rounds of applause.

What made this accomplishment possible? Clarity of Passion. His shared belief with the poet-philosopher Friedrich Schilleris, who wrote the poem that "Ode to Joy" is based upon. Both men believed that beauty is not merely an aesthetic experience, it is  also a moral imperative.

Beethoven could not hear his music- but he had such passion and clarity- he could feel the music within his soul. He kept to the discipline needed to leave us centuries later with a lesson for today. Great accomplishments can be achieved even in less than perfect circumstances.

Have a vision of paradise. Let clarity of passion lead the way with courage and conviction.

Beethoven portrait by Karl Steiler

1 comment:

Oregon Sue said...

Beautifully stated, L!!!