Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 — Karajan or Muppet Style

A cou­ple of big blogs recent­ly high­light­ed a clip of the Mup­pets doing Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth. It’s cute, and I was hard­ly sur­prised that the video logged 3.6 mil­lion views on YouTube.

Not far behind, at 3.2 mil­lion views, is a long video show­ing Her­bert Von Kara­jan lead­ing a live per­for­mance of Beethoven’s Ninth. The fact that Kara­jan, one of the world’s best-known con­duc­tors, lags behind a bunch of pup­pets is unfor­tu­nate, no doubt. But it’s also heart­en­ing in some ways. It tells me that high cul­ture is still com­pet­ing for an audi­ence. So here it goes. Kara­jan in action:

(You can get Part 2 here, and we’ve added both clips to our YouTube Favorites. Also you can find more vin­tage Beethoven/Karajan footage in this guy’s video col­lec­tion.)


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.