History 104: Western Civilization since 1648

Lecture: Romanticism and Socialism

Ludwig von Beethoven
Portrait by J.K.Stieler 1819-20
Karl Marx
Karl Marx

There just isn't anything like Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (Symphony in D Minor, opus 125), completed in 1824. Using Friedrich Schiller's poem Freude (Joy), the last movement is as much an ode to freedom as to joy. Beethoven himself had been a supporter of Napoleon, until he crowned himself emperor; freedom was Beethoven's creed. (Lyrics for this section in German and English)

Unlike some other music selections in this course, I have grave misgivings about putting up a "clip" of this symphony. If you get a chance, get the whole thing, on CD. Lie down on the floor and turn it up loud. I wish I could remember who said this was a cure for depression; I think it was Garrison Keillor.

Some day the workers will take possession of your city hall, and when we do, no child will be sacrificed on the altar of profit!

-- Mother Jones (1903)


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The text by Lisa M. Lane is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Creative Commons License
The voice audio by Lisa M. Lane is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.