Join the Seattle Symphony for a New Year Eve’s performance of Beethoven’s Nin… wait a second…


One of the regular events of the Seattle Symphony season is a New Year's Eve late night performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony followed by a post-concert party to ring in the new year. Last year I received an advertisement in the mail promoting that year's concert, and one page of the brochure contained the message {Ring in the New Year} printed atop a photo of an impressive array of musical forces crammed onto the Benaroya Hall stage.

But if you look closely at the instruments being played and the composition of the chorus, you quickly realize that they aren't performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony does not call for eight vocal soloists, a harp, a piano, a mandolin, a celesta, or an organ. Nope, the photo is from a performance of Mahler's Eighth Symphony.

But hey, it looks more impressive in the photo. Nobody will notice.

Comments (11)
  1. John says:

    Was I the only one who immediately thought of this? http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/25/microsoft-sucks-at-photoshop/

  2. James Schend says:

    John: Yes, and stop trolling.

  3. Alexander Grigoriev says:

    Blicket auf… Blicket auf! Alle reuig Zarten… Blicket auf, Blicket auf!!!

  4. DriverDude says:

    Well, at least they used a photo of their own hall. (Not that I could tell the difference.)

    Did they correct the photo in this year’s ad?

  5. NT says:

    "But if you look closely at the instruments being played and the composition of the chorus, you quickly realize that they aren’t performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony."  I do?  I think you overestimate my knowledge of the symphony.  :)

  6. Morten says:

    It’s just marketing. What’s on the box has only a passing relation to what’s in it. Besides, the people who can figure it out are going to come anyway because they love music. The knowless[wo]men are going to be there because it’s the Done Thing no matter what’s on the picture.

  7. Rob says:

    I’m not sure why this is “wrong,” or why we care if people will “figure it out.”

    It’s an advertisement for a performance by the symphony, accompanied by a picture of the symphony.  Do you really expect them to take a separate picture for every performance, which accurately reflects the orchestral makeup for that performance?

    I don’t.  If you do, what’s your expectation for a performance of multiple pieces with several different combinations of instruments?  A separate picture beside each, showing the exact combination for that piece?

    It just seems silly, but to take it seriously: It’s not enough to say it’s wrong, Raymond, tell Micro… uh, the Seattle Symphony how they should do it correctly.

    [Then use a generic picture and not one that can clearly be associated with a specific work. -Raymond]
  8. David Brooks says:

    Ironically, the Ninth calls for an instrument that is not specified in the Mahler 8th. Although, to be sure, today its part is always played on its tenor cousin.

    Looking forward to the repeat performance tomorrow (and the waltzes, which I last heard when I sung it in high school, which come to think must have been before Brahms composed them).

  9. And the title implies a certain 15-hour Wagnerian cycle.  Clearly false advertising.

  10. GWO says:

    I simply can’t understand why they didn’t include a picture of an event that was yet to take place in their advertising…

  11. Keith J. Farmer says:

    GWO:  Seattle Symphony has played the Ninth before.

Comments are closed.