Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beethoven and George VI

In my review of The King's Speech I criticized the use of the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony as background music for George VI's climactic speech announcing the beginning of war with Germany. I was therefore intrigued by this thoughtful comment (at a blog reached via a link posted by a Facebook Friend) which explicitly defends and reflects on that musical choice, along with some other observations. I'm still not entirely sure I agree, but thought I should present Mr. Kogan's interesting alternative view, which is the only commentary I've seen directly addressing this particular irony.

1 comment:

Lamoignon de Malesherbes said...

I believe Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was commissioned by the (British) Royal Philharmonic Society; he also composed variations on "Rule, Brittania!" and "God Save the King." Not to mention, Beethoven wrote "Wellington's Victory" to commemorate the Battle of Vitoria. He was quite sympathetic to the British Crown-- to paraphrase a philosopher, Beethoven provided a voice for the soul of Europe, not Germany.