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Encyclopedia > Curse of the Ninth

The curse of the ninth is the superstition that any composer of symphonies, from Beethoven onwards, will die soon after writing his or her own Ninth Symphony. 1820 portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler Beethoven redirects here. ... Composer Ludwig van Beethoven 4th movement (European Union anthem) samples: Ode to Joy ( file info) — String version from 1997. ...


This superstition is thought to have begun with Gustav Mahler, who after writing his Eighth Symphony wrote Das Lied von der Erde: Eine Symphonie für Tenor-Stimme, Contralt -Stimme und große Orchester (nach Hans Bethges "Die chinesische Flöte"). Then he wrote his Symphony No. 9 and thought he had beaten the curse, but died with his Tenth Symphony incomplete. This article cites its sources but does not provide page references. ... Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) is particularly interesting among Gustav Mahlers symphonic works. ... The Symphony No. ... The Symphony No. ...


From Mahler's point of view, the only two victims of this curse had been Beethoven and Bruckner, and possibly Louis Spohr. Franz Schubert's Great C major Symphony would have been called No. 7 in Mahler's time, and Dvořák considered the score of his early C minor Symphony lost. Bruckner was superstitious about his own Ninth Symphony, not because of the curse of the ninth, but because it was in the same key as Beethoven's Ninth. (Bruckner considered his F minor Symphony just a school exercise, and the D minor Symphony now known as No. 0 he declared invalid). Bruckner redirects here. ... Self-portrait of Spohr as a young man. ... Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. ... In 1838 Robert Schumann, on a visit to Vienna, found the dusty manuscript of Franz Schuberts C major symphony (the Great, D.944) and took it back to Leipzig, where it was performed by Felix Mendelssohn and celebrated in the Neue Zeitschrift. ... Antonín Dvořák Antonín Leopold Dvořák ( ; September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms and melodies of the folk-music of his native Bohemia in symphonic and chamber music. ... Anton Bruckners Study Symphony in F minor, (Studiensimphonie), or simply Symphony in F minor, WAB 99, was written in 1863 as an exercise under Otto Kitzlers instruction in form and orchestration. ... This Symphony in D minor composed by Anton Bruckner was not assigned a number by its composer, and has subsequently become known by the German designation Die Nullte (translated to in English). ...


In an essay about Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg wrote: "It seems that the ninth is a limit. He who wants to go beyond it must pass away. It seems as if something might be imparted to us in the Tenth which we ought not yet to know, for which we are not ready. Those who have written a Ninth stood too close to the hereafter." Schoenberg redirects here. ...


After Mahler, some composers used as examples of the curse include: Kurt Atterberg, Alfred Schnittke, Roger Sessions, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Egon Wellesz and Malcolm Arnold. Alexander Glazunov completed the first movement of his Ninth but worked on it no further for the 26 more years he lived. Kurt Magnus Atterberg (December 12, 1887 - February 15, 1974) was a Swedish composer. ... Alfred Schnittke April 6, 1989, Moscow Alfred Garyevich Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́тке, November 24, 1934 Engels - August 3, 1998 Hamburg) was a Russian composer. ... Roger Sessions (28 December 1896 – 16 March 1985) was an American composer, critic and teacher of music. ... Ralph Vaughan Williams Ralph Vaughan Williams, OM (October 12, 1872 – August 26, 1958) was an influential English composer. ... Egon Wellesz, Composer Egon Joseph Wellesz (October 21, 1885 – November 9, 1974) Austrian composer, teacher and musicologist, pupil of Arnold Schoenberg and student of Byzantine music. ... Sir Malcolm Arnold Sir Malcolm Henry Arnold, CBE (21 October 1921 – 23 September 2006) was an English composer. ... Portrait by Ilya Repin, 1887. ...


Dmitri Shostakovich, whose music was strongly influenced by Mahler, felt under pressure to write a momentous Ninth symphony, to be the equal of Beethoven's but in praise of Stalin's regime.[citation needed] Recoiling against the idea, he produced a relatively lightweight piece, quite unlike his other works of the time. In the third movement he even quotes phrases from both Beethoven and Mahler's Ninths (given to the bassoon in somewhat ironic fashion). The work ends in a playful, mischievous mood. Unsurprisingly it did not go down well with those expecting a grand gesture.[citation needed] Shostakovich ultimately went on to complete fifteen symphonies in total. Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich   (Russian: , Dmitrij Dmitrievič Å ostakovič) (September 25 [O.S. September 12] 1906–August 9, 1975) was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვი&#4314... The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that plays in the tenor range and below. ...


Some counterexamples are: Hans Werner Henze (10; his ninth symphony was actually choral), Edmund Rubbra (11; his ninth symphony was choral), Robert Simpson (11), Heitor Villa-Lobos and Darius Milhaud (12 each), Glenn Branca (14), Allan Pettersson (17), Nikolai Myaskovsky (27), Havergal Brian (32), Alan Hovhaness (63) and Leif Segerstam (173). Hans Werner Henze (born July 1, 1926 in Gütersloh, Westphalia, Germany) is a composer well known for his left-wing political beliefs. ... Edmund Rubbra (23 May 1901–14 February 1986) was a British composer. ... Robert Simpson may refer to: Robert Simpson, Canadian founder of Simpsons Department Store Robert Simpson, English musician Bob Simpson, American meteorologist and co-developer of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Robert Simson, Scottish mathematician This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might... Heitor Villa-Lobos (March 5, 1887 - November 17, 1959) was a Brazilian composer, possibly the best-known classical composer born in South America. ... Darius Milhaud Darius Milhaud (IPA: ) (September 4, 1892 – June 22, 1974) was a French composer and teacher. ... Glenn Branca (born October 6, 1948 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is an avant-garde composer and guitarist. ... Gustav Allan Pettersson (September 19, 1911 – June 20, 1980) was a Swedish composer born in Uppland. ... Nikolai Myaskovsky (ru: Николай Мясковский) (April 20, 1881 – August 8, 1950) was a Russian composer. ... William (Havergal) Brian (January 29, 1876 – November 28, 1972), was a British composer. ... Alan Hovhaness with an Indonesian rebab Alan Hovhaness (March 8, 1911 – June 21, 2000) was an American composer of Armenian and Scottish descent. ... Leif Segerstam (born March 2, 1944) is a Finnish conductor and composer. ...


Composers before Beethoven, like Joseph Haydn (106) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (41), are not considered relevant to this superstition. Portrait by Thomas Hardy, 1792 Franz[1] Joseph Haydn (March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809) was one of the most prominent composers of the Classical period, and is called by some the Father of the Symphony and Father of the String Quartet. A life-long resident of Austria, Haydn spent... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (IPA: , baptized Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart) (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. ...


References

  • Cooke, Deryck. Gustav Mahler: An Introduction to His Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Lebrecht, Norman. Mahler Remembered. New York: W.W. Norton, 1987.
  • Mahler-Werfel, Alma. The Diaries, translated by Antony Beaumont. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Curse of the ninth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (491 words)
The curse of the ninth is the superstition that any composer of symphonies, from Beethoven onwards, will die soon after writing his own Ninth Symphony.
Bruckner was superstitious about his own Ninth Symphony, not because of the curse of the ninth, but because it was in the same key as Beethoven's Ninth.
Dmitri Shostakovich, whose music was strongly influenced by Mahler, felt under pressure to write a momentous Ninth symphony, to be the equal of Beethoven's but in praise of Stalin's regime.
Curse of the Billy Goat: Information from Answers.com (1826 words)
The Curse of the Billy Goat, or Billy Goat Curse is the name of an urban myth, superstition, used to explain the World Series drought that Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs have had to endure since their last appearance in the 1945 World Series, and their last World Series championship in 1908.
The curse seemed to be fading in the 2003 playoffs.
The curse seemed to be on the point of extinction when the Cubs led the eventual World Series champion Florida Marlins three games to one in the National League Championship Series after four games.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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