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Ludwigconducting withquote

The Piano Guys and the Classical crossover debate.

The Piano Guys played some music inspired by Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.

They have had some criticism for this- “classical crossover” being cited as pandering to the masses who are unable to appreciate the Classical greats such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn…

But is this a fair judgement? The love these guys have for Beethoven’s monumental symphony is apparent, and if gets more people to discover Beethoven, then I think this can only be a good thing. Beethoven’s music was about love, and the Piano Guys’ motivation was love and to honour this amazing German composer. The intent was a good thing.Perhaps it matters less that the Piano Guys didn’t come up with their own symphony, but followed their hearts with a tribute. And honestly, who could write a symphony today to match the 5th?!

Are there not many paths in this world? Does it matter exactly how one discovers the great composers’ music? Is it not more important that people do discover the music, rather than the journey that took them there- though the journey itself can be a special and meaningful one.

This is the story of how the Piano Guys came up with this music:

Story behind the song:

The American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic (Youth Orchestra) and its director, Kayson Brown, approached us with this idea. We loved it. It combined two of the things we are working to accomplish — inviting people to classical music and inspiring young musicians. Steven Sharp Nelson had soloed with the orchestra the previous year and loved the spirit and the talent that the orchestra showed at such young ages (ages 13-18!) Together we developed the concept of “Beethoven’s 5 Secrets,” combining OneRepublic’s tune “Secrets” with melodies and moments from all four movements of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.

We used 5 different melodies from the 4 movements of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (not including the “bridge” the orchestra plays in the middle). Try to guess where they are and where they come from!

What are Beethoven’s secrets? He had many. His most prominent secret that he desperately tried to keep from the public and that caused him to be considered extremely eccentric, irritable, and hermit-like was his “weakness.” He was deaf during most of his life. Imagine that…one of the greatest composers that ever lived could hardly hear. And yet, he wrote his life’s greatest works after becoming deaf. He believed that art itself had “secrets” that had to be “forced into” in order to obtain art’s highest level. There is no doubt Beethoven discovered many of the “secrets” of art — people all over the world enjoy them every day. He was a true master of music, blessed by God. This piece and video are dedicated to him.

And now the video: