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Perspectives . . .                                                                             PERSPECTIVES

      Keeping things real                                             by Martin Ederer            last – composed when he was com-    Stories persist (there are
                                                                      ohann  Christoph  Friedrich  von
                                                                                                  pletely deaf and had little to be joy-
                                                                                                                                   several versions) that when
         by Martin Ederer                                           JSchiller  and  Johann  Wolfgang  ful about – incorporated a setting of  thunderous applause broke out,
         erhaps  the  topic  of  reality  is  too  dour  for  our  edition  covering  the  von Goethe are together celebrated  Schiller’s  Ode  into  its  fourth  and  the contralto Caroline Unger
      Pholiday season. Reality is not always pleasant. Yet the approaching  as  the  two  giants  of  German-lan-  final movement.  turned the deaf Beethoven
      Advent and Christmas celebrations provide good reason for some annual  guage literature. Of the two, many  To the setting he added his own
      reality checks.                                               consider Schiller to be the greater of  introductory  stanzas:  Oh  friends,  around so that he could see the
         For Americans the lead-in to holiday festivities begins with Thanksgiv-  the playwrights.  not  these  sounds! Let  us  instead  audience applauding.
      ing Day. The origins are Christian – even if Thanksgiving is a holiday  It  is  entirely  ironic  that  most  intone more pleasing and more joy-
      defined by secular law in the United States – which often enough gets  people are best familiar with a work  ful ones! Joy!   A good number of other musical
      overshadowed by retail parades, turkey and football. All well and good, but  that  Schiller  came  to  regard  as  a  The rest of Beethoven’s setting settings and paraphrases of Schill-
      in  languages  (such  as  German)  with  case  structures,  thankfulness  isn’t  failure. Like so many figures of his  expresses wonderful ideals in both er’s Ode both predated and postdat-
      simply  a  stand-alone  concept.  Thankfulness  requires  the  dative  case.  It  time, Schiller had come to embrace  words and music. Between the mu- ed Beethoven’s setting. None have
      requires an object: we need to be thankful to someone or something and to  enlightenment ideals and the politi-  sic and the lyrics, the experience is surpassed  it.  The  basic  Freude
      be thankful for someone or something. Indeed, we have vestiges of such  cal liberalism that they had generat-  uplifting  and  unforgettable.  The schöner  Götterfunken  theme  has
      case structure even in English in two common such constructions. One is  ed. In part for those reasons, a more  symphony’s  first  performance  in gone  on  to  become  part  of  every-
      actually “thank you.” The other is extremely impolite.        mature Schiller came to see the po-  1824 in Vienna, three years before one’s cultural DNA.
         Then there is the hoopla surrounding Advent and Christmas – much of  em’s aspirations as too impractical  Beethoven’s  death,  was  already  a  One can only imagine, however,
      which seems to have little to do with what all those holidays are (or should  and naïve in the real world – in his  success.  It  required  the  largest  or- that  Beethoven  would  now  also
      be) about. Some people have gotten intimidated about even mentioning  words,  “detached  from  reality.”  chestra Beethoven had ever assem- view  the  final  movement  of  his
      Christmas.  It’s  too  Christian.  But  the  holidays  are  still  fine  for  selling  Maybe it is just as well, then, that  bled,  and  this  performance  was ninth symphony as the same sort of
      things, and sales are better if we are joyful, or at least hope to spread joy.  most people associate it more with  Beethoven’s  first  onstage  appear- failure that Schiller saw in his Ode,
      A  mandatory  joy  based  on  some  indeterminate  or  unspoken-of  secular  Ludwig  van  Beethoven  than  with  ance in 12 years.  not for its naiveté but for how it has
      festivity  easily  becomes  an  annoyance  and  a  source  of  depression  for  Schiller.      Because  of  Beethoven’s  deaf- been  rendered  banal.  Cheesy
      people who are having a tough time with life as they enter the holiday  Any chorus singing in the con-  ness, he was in no position to direct hymns, politicization as national an-
      season. Misery, after all, is no respecter of seasons. That too is reality.  text of a symphony, which had al-  unassisted.   The   performance thems  or  anthems  of  other  move-
         Still, a few more reality checks are also in order here. Jesus was born  ways been instrumental only, was a  worked  better  when  the  musicians ments and organizations – and even
      not because we were all wonderful. Rather, we were all screwed up and  radical departure from musical con-  simply ignored his conducting. Sto- its use in advertising – attest to the
      mired in our own sinfulness. God came into this world homeless and poor.  vention  in  Beethoven’s  time.  But  ries  persist  (there  are  several  ver- power and popularity of this music.
      God ended up falsely accused and crucified because we have such a hard  Beethoven was never conventional.  sions)   that   when   thunderous But have they also trivialized it?
      time  getting  things  right,  even  if  we’re  trying.  Christmas  is  about  God  While he did adhere to standards of  applause  broke  out,  the  contralto  In  any  event,  Schiller’s  Ode
      intervening in order to make those things right. Now that’s a reason for  classical composition, he did man-  Caroline  Unger  turned  the  deaf does  convey  high  (and  sometimes
      some real joy, whatever our own situations might be. God “gets” us even  age  to  bend  them  out  of  shape  in  Beethoven around so that he could rather  dreamy)  ideals.  Unattain-
      if we don’t “get” Him or think much about Him at all.         exciting   new      directions.  see the audience applauding.  able?  Maybe.  But  probably  still
         Joy is sweeter if we face the hard realities first… Gather your friends  Beethoven’s  Ninth  Symphony,  his  The Beethoven setting of Schill- worth a try.
      and relatives! Share your traditions with them. Share your traditions with                  er’s poem:
      the  younger  generations!  Remind  them  of  the  history  of  these
                                                                                       Freude, schöner Götterfunken    Joy, beautiful spark of divinity,
      celebrations…even if they don’t mean much to you personally, or to them
                                                                                       Tochter aus Elysium,            Daughter from Elysium,
      – because reality is still reality.
                                                                                       Wir betreten feuertrunken,      We enter, burning with fervour,
         A blessed Advent and Christmas season to all…and all good things in
                                                                                       Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!     heavenly being, your sanctuary!
                                                                                       Deine Zauber binden wieder      Your magic brings together
      GAM’s 90 year history                                                            Was die Mode streng geteilt;    what custom has sternly divided.
                                                                                       Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
                                                                                                                       All men shall become brothers,
                                                                                       Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.   wherever your gentle wings hover.
        from page 1                  heim,  Bad  Liebenzel,  Berchtes-
                                                                                       Wem der große Wurf gelungen,    Whoever has been lucky enough
      vests, bundhosen for the male mem- gaden, Sindelfingen, Lofer, Eltville
                                                                                       Eines Freundes Freund zu sein;  to become a friend to a friend,
      bers  and  dirndls  for  the  female on the Rhine and a sightseeing day
                                                                                       Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,   Whoever has found a beloved wife,
      members.                       in Salzburg. The Band was treated
         The high point of the GAM and to “heimatabends” music and enter-              Mische seinen Jubel ein!        let him join our songs of praise!
                                                                                       Ja, wer auch nur eine Seele     Yes, and anyone who can call one soul
      of  George  Hinterbichler’s  career tainment provided by the hosts, in
      was a concert tour of Germany and almost every town visited. And in              Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!   his own on this earth!
      Austria in September of 1979. Much George’s  hometown,  Saalfelden,              Und wer's nie gekonnt, der stehle  Any who cannot, let them slink away
      credit for the success of that tour had they were greeted by the town band       Weinend sich aus diesem Bund!   from this gathering in tears!
      to  go  to  the  GAM  Auxiliary.  The and a 21-gun salute and marched to         Freude trinken alle Wesen       Every creature drinks in joy
      band needed new uniforms for the the  town  square  where  they  were            An den Brüsten der Natur;       at nature's breast;
      trip and the uniforms were patterned welcomed  by  the  Bürgermeister            Alle Guten, alle Bösen          Good and Evil alike
      after the “tracht,” or national attire (Mayor)  and  the  Town  Council.         Folgen ihrer Rosenspur.         follow her trail of roses.
      of the Tyrolean or Alpine region of Whenever possible, where the Band            Küsse gab sie uns und Reben,    She gives us kisses and wine,
      Austria, consisting of red vests and performed,  pictures  of  the  Band,
                                                                                       Einen Freund, geprüft im Tod;   a true friend, even in death;
      black  Bundhosen-style  knickers taken by Ferdi Kasprzak, and Buf-               Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben, Even the worm was given desire,
      with colorful ties, leather braces and falo pins were presented to the audi-
                                                                                       Und der Cherub steht vor Gott.  and the cherub stands before God.
      red and black knee socks. The ladies ence.
      in  the  band  wore  red  and  black  During the 1980s the GAM was               Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen  Gladly, just as His suns hurtle
      dirndls  with  white  blouses  and performing  in  concerts  and  Okto-          Durch des Himmels prächt'gen    through the glorious universe,
      aprons, in keeping with the Tyrolean berfests in Toronto, Rochester, St.         Plan,                           So you, brothers, should run your course,
      style.                         Catherines and Kitchener. Locally,                Laufet, Brüder, eure Bahn,      joyfully, like a conquering hero.
         The  uniforms  soon  became  the they  also  played  at  the  Lancaster       Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen.
      official  uniform  of  the  band  and Opera  House,  local  summer  town         Seid umschlungen, Millionen!    Be embraced, you millions!
      were  worn  at  every  performance. park concerts, as well as regularly
                                                                                       Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt!     This kiss is for the whole world!
      Money for the trip was raised from scheduled  concerts  and  Oktober-            Brüder, über'm Sternenzelt      Brothers, above the canopy of stars
      band performances and a “Trip” raf- fests in the Bavarian Village (Deut-
                                                                                       Muß ein lieber Vater wohnen.    must dwell a loving father.
      fle, along with card parties and ba- ches  Haus),  Club  Lorelei,  The
      zaars put on by the auxiliary. It took Weber Post VFW, Weimers Grover
                                                                                       Ihr stürzt nieder, Millionen?   Do you bow down before Him, you millions?
      almost  two  years  to  raise  enough and  at  Buffalo  Soccer  Club.  The
      funds for the 32 members to be able band  even  played  in  the  Buffalo         Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt?   Do you sense your Creator, O world?
                                                                                       Such' ihn über'm Sternenzelt!   Seek Him above the canopy of stars!
      to go.                         Sesquicentennial parade. The GAM
         The  16  day  tour,  included  12 float won first prize in its category!      Über Sternen muß er wohnen.     He must dwell beyond the stars
      concerts  throughout  Germany  and  In 1982, the Federation of Ger-
      Austria  by  the  band,  accompanied man  American  Societies  named
      by spouses, relatives and friends to- George  Hinterbichler  “German-
      taling about 68 people on the tour. American of the Year.” The honor  Linda McEvoy’s 40 years with GAM
      The greatest thrill for the GAM dur- is  bestowed  yearly  by  the  Federa-
      ing the tour was a concert performed tion on a person who has furthered   from page 1
                                                                                                  Facility  on  an  on-call  basis  until
      at the Munich Beer Hall during the German-American  relations  in  the  Schlebus Memorial MVP Award in 2020 when she retired for good.  Published by
      famous  Oktoberfest.  The  popular area.  The  Association  is  proud  to  2012.               Outside  of  the  GAM,  Linda     Buffalo Standard Printing
      Oktoberfests  were  born  in  Munich note  that  several  others  members  She  earned  her  LPN  degree  in likes  to  read,  crochet,  shop  and  3620 Harlem Rd.
      in 1810, when the first one was held have been named to this honor over  1969  where  she  was  in  the  first travel.           Cheektowaga, NY 14215
      to  observe  the  wedding  of  King the years.                graduating class from BOCES. For  Linda is the oldest of five sib-
      Ludwig I.                         Next Issue: The Tour of Germa-  the next 46 years she worked in the lings.  Fifty-five  years  ago,  Linda  Editor - Roger Puchalski
         Other  places  visited  during  the ny and next 40 years.  surgery units and geriatrics wings at married her high school sweetheart,  Consulting Editor - Martin Ederer
      tour,  which  began  and  ended  in                           many hospitals in the area. She re- Vern.  Together they have two chil-
      Frankfurt,  included  our  sister  city                       tired in 2016 from working full time dren,  six  grandchildren  and  three  For Advertising Sales call:
      Dortmund,  Drolshagen,  Heppen-                               and  decided  to  work  part  time  at great grandchildren.           Michelle Kisluk or
                                                                    Garden Gate Health Care and Rehab                                     Steve Kroczynski
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