Beethoven Meets Piazzola . . .

. . . and perhaps Pope Francis as well, courtesy of Karl Jenkins.

Even since I first fell in love with the world of classical music – as a listener, not a performer – back in grade school, Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony has been among my 200 or so top favorites.

I like Wagner’s description of it as the “Apotheosis of the Dance,” and the story of him proving it by dancing through the whole piece while Franz Liszt played it on the piano. (True or not, I don’t know.)

I could not, however, catch the dance rhythms of the second movement (marked Allegretto, but usually performed more like Andante), until not long ago I heard Karl Jenkins reveal it as a . . . tango!

I’ll never hear it the same again. For comparison, here’s the symphony in its entirety with the late, and incomparable, Claudio Abbado conducting the Berlin Philharmonic at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome.

Get out your dancing shoes!

P.S. The Pope Francis connection, in case you are curious.


Author: tomwelbers

I have been a Catholic priest for nearly fifty years, most of that time serving in parish and college campus ministry. I also have professional degrees in theology and liturgy, as well as institutional management, and continue avidly to explore pastoral theology, Scripture, liturgy, ecumenical and interfaith relations, and spiritual direction. I have a passion for sharing insight into our Christian heritage through teaching, writing, and leading pilgrimages, especially to Early Christian World sites in Turkey. Now actively retired from parish ministry, I live at Nazareth House in Los Angeles.

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