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The Ninth Symphony and Clean Air Act Reform

May 14, 2013

Still think we can’t reform the Clean Air Act?  Guess what.  We already are.  This is the first movement.  Want to hear what the finale might sound like?  Listen to the 4th movement of Beethoven’s Ninth.  My favorite part of the 4th movement is how dark it begins.  And then out of this darkness comes the oboes with the first hint of the joyful melody that we all know so well.  Then the melody is cast out by the darkness of the basses–but only to be heard again.  This time by the cellos.  And then by other instruments.  This back and forth continues throughout the 4th movement.  Each time the sounds of darkness become shorter and more distant, while the sounds of light crescendo—finally erupting into the choral finale:

Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen
Durch das Himmels praecht’gen Plan,
Laufet, Brueder, eure Bahn,
Freudig wie ein Held zum Siegen.

Gladly as His suns do fly
Through the heavens’ splendid plan,
Run now, brothers, your own course,
Joyful like a conquering hero

Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!
Brueder – ueberm Sternenzelt
Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.

Embrace each other now, you millions!
The kiss is for the whole wide world!
Brothers – over the starry firmament
A beloved Father must surely dwell.

Ihr stuerzt nieder, Millionen?
Ahnest du den Schoepfer, Welt?
Such ihn ueberm Sternenzelt,
Ueber Sternen muss er wohnen.

Do you come crashing down, you millions?
Do you sense the Creators presence, world?
Seek Him above the starry firmament,
For above the stars he surely dwells.

And so it will be.

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