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Songs of Hope

Journey at Home Day 27

Someone asked me to name a song that gave me hope. I immediately thought in the pop mode. A few days after I named that song, I started thinking of classical selections. I have two to recommend. Land of Hope and Glory by Elgar and Choral Fantasy by Beethoven.

When you listen to this clip, you'll immediately think Pomp and Circumstance. At the suggestion of King Edward VII, Elgar used the theme from that march to write the Coronation Ode. The piece is orchestral only for the first 5 minutes or so, and then the big chorus joins in. That's the way it is supposed to work, but a little over 2 minutes into the piece, the thousands of people attending this Proms performance can't help but to hum along. When the chorus does come in later, you can see and hear the joy erupting in the crowd. When the piece ends, everyone is so ecstatic that the conductor queues a reprise, so wait for it. One day we will be able to socialize like this again.

Most people aren't familiar with Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, but when you hear it, you are sure to recognize hints of the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. This work is much shorter and much earlier, but very impactful. It starts as an instrumental and gradually builds until the chorus comes in. This version is performed by the legendary pianist Martha Argerich, who I've had the privilege of hearing once in person, in London.

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