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Beethoven’s Exhausted Second Movement Gets Yet Another Workout.

In a remarkable ten-minute propaganda clip, Eric Zemmour chooses the Seventh for his presidential announcement. Given the SUPER-chauvinistic, SUPER-French nature of his announcement, it’s head-scratching that he chooses a German composer for his soundtrack, non?

I mean, yes, the heavy-meaning-bearing second movement gets trotted out constantly — background music for The King’s Speech, background music for the end of the world — but what’s it doing in a hyper-nationalistic French politician’s presidential statement?

Obviously the haunting major/minor of this movement conveys seriousness and sorrow, gravity and dignity. It is both foreboding and, in its tenacious maintenance of its waltz-like tempo, somehow resolute. And since Zemmour’s whole thing is that France is dying – practically dead – it makes sense that this anxious sorrowing resoluteness would appeal to him. Joshua Bell comments:

I’d call the second movement the ultimate expression of despair, … especially as it reaches its peak. It’s the ultimate crying of lament. The slow movement even ends with an unresolved chord with no root, just as it begins. It leaves you feeling a kind of longing right from the beginning and it leaves you with that same feeling as it ends with an unstable chord.

Yet Beethoven is so un-French; Zemmour spends the entire ten minutes trumpeting the unique brilliance of French culture, and can’t come up with a French composer whose work adequately conveys his message?

It is not too late for the Zemmour campaign to align its values with its soundtrack. With no trouble at all, UD has come up with an equally famous and celebrated French composition that conveys, as does Beethoven’s, growing anxiety/intensity in the context of a beautiful melody. A piece that “has a pulsation that … is very close to that of, you know, the heartbeat. And … it grows in that sort of inevitable manner – something that, you know, cannot be stopped. It sort of unfolds and sweeps you away with it.”

Yes. Ravel’s Bolero.


PS: To render Zemmour’s entire announcement totally French, we’d also need to remove his reference to Johnny Hallyday (half Belgian), and have him quote from someone other than Abraham Lincoln (“by the people,” etc.).

Margaret Soltan, November 30, 2021 10:34AM
Posted in: it's art

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One Response to “Beethoven’s Exhausted Second Movement Gets Yet Another Workout.”

  1. University Diaries » Zemmour You Look, Zemmour You See. Says:

    […] La vidéo – in which far-rightist Eric Zemmour announces his presidential candidacy to the French people – is burning up the airwaves; not only does the New Yorker give it a good once-over (“one of the most bizarre videos ever offered by a would-be leader to his nation”), but theocrat Adrian Vermeulen has risen to its defense as Youtube slaps an age-restriction on it. […]

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