TED loves classical music

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Photo: Andrew Heavens/TED

As Megan Barnett writes on

I’m ready to buy my first classical music CD, after the boundlessly energetic Benjamin Zander brought the audience to tears with a Chopin piece before bringing it to its feet while belting out the Ode to Joy.

Plenty of TEDsters came away from Monterey and Aspen with the same feeling. If you’re new to all this, here are a few good places to start:

+ The Chopin piece that Benjamin Zander played is the Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28: No. 4 — and YouTube offers more than 70 interpretations of this classic piece. Listen to a few, and decide who is playing on one buttock. >>

+ The “Ode to Joy” comes from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Though Zander’s own recording of Beethoven’s 9th, with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, is out of print, it is fascinating to read his thoughts on the way the 9th should be played >>

+ You can find Zander’s recording of Beethoven’s 5th and 7th Symphonies with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London here >>

+ TEDster and blogger John La Grou at Microlesia muses on Schiller’s lyrics to the “Ode to Joy” >>

+ A comment on Microlesia points to a fascinating new documentary project, Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony, an exploration of the global scope of this great romantic work. Read more here and add your comments >>

+ TED’s own June Cohen was struck by this thought:

I keep thinking to myself: What a TRAGEDY that we can’t invite Beethoven to TED! I want to MEET him. I want to TALK to him. I want to understand where the music came from.

+ A friend of TED suggests moving on to Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 — which Benjamin Zander recorded in 2001 with the Philharmonia Orchestra. A reviewer says, “Every section plays with edge-of-the-chair commitment.” Sound familiar?