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WATCH: 167 Japanese Theremin Players Perform Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Perfect Synchronization [VIDEO]

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Jun 20, 2014 07:04 PM EDT

Beethoven may not have envisioned such a modern approach to his works so far into the future. Towards the end of his career, he may not been envisioning much at all, either.

But it's perhaps a new touch of modern technology that has catapulted a Beethoven classic into the 21st century. Thus, the weapon of choice for this latest reproduction: a Theremin.

The instrument is not a new piece of machinery--quite the opposite. The Theremin is a device of the '20s, named after its creator, Léon Theremin, and requires no physical touch. Instead, it is conducted with hand motions via electronic signals conducted through two metal antennae.

You may have heard it before, in the background of the Beach Boys' classic 'Good Vibrations'; movie soundtracks such as Spellbound and The Day the Earth Stood Still; and some avant-garde stuff of the late 20th century spilling over into now.

But this latest rendition has me on the floor, with a perfect and succinct performance of 167 Japanese students playing Beethoven's Ninth on the electronic instrument in dire unison.

The video isn't anything special but thanks to Norman Lebrecht we are able to catch a few sounds of the studded performance.

If you ask me, this is eerily 'windy' instrument picks up like a guitar in some spots, almost sounding like its sliding to hit the right notes. What I'm most concerned about is the placement of the hands. I mean, how do you channel 167 sets of hands to move with unparalleled precision?

Beats me, but we have the video below so make an effort and take note of a technology rearranging the sonic nature of Beethoven.

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TagsBeethoven, Theremin, Leon Theremin, Japanese Theremin Players, Beethoven's Ninth

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