Music, at its core, is escape. It is a departure from the shackles of a finals-filled reality into a chaotic and beautiful world where rhythm matters more than grades. If you’re one of the many looking to relax after dead week, you should go to the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra’s masterful presentation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in Hertz Hall. Tickets are only $10 for UC Berkeley students! During times like these, when the doom of three-hour tests looms over the coming week, you don’t have to be as psychotic as Alex DeLarge to turn to Beethoven for solace — although we’re sure it helps.
It is a widely accepted notion that live music is better than putting in headphones or listening to the stereo. But why? If the point of music is to leave the world, don’t headphones accomplish that task better by blocking off the external completely? You’re right, they do — but they also isolate us. Listening to music by yourself is wonderful at times, but it can also be lonely. Listening to music with people lets you bring friends with you as you teleport to a brand new dimension. And while the dance room stereo lets you bring your friends along for the ride, it excludes a special group from the adventure: the musicians. The understanding between the artist and the patron is a unique mixture of respect, admiration and communication and is almost entirely lost without the presence of the artist. Unfortunately, Beethoven is long dead, so the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra will have to represent the ideas he stood for.
There are a million good reasons for seeing the orchestra, and the sheer amount of class that radiates from listening to classical music is enough to impress anyone. You don’t have to be an old person to enjoy classical selections, and spoiler alert: The cello solo near the end is some damn good music.
Image Source: Quincena Musical, under Creative Commons