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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Jonathan is three and loves great music

I posted the Beethoven video not long ago and it inspired enthusiastic comments, many of them coming down to: Who is this kid?

Under another video online I found a comment, possibly by his mother, saying Jonathan started trying to conduct before he could walk, and is now receiving violin lessons from a teacher he really likes.

There are more videos online, but embedding has been disabled. Of Jonathan conducting the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th, I found this comment on a blog named Murphies:

This is the same symphony that Forster wrote about in "Howard's End" in what some of you already know is my favorite piece of writing about music anywhere. I think Forster and Jonathan would understand one another perfectly. Here's what Forster had to say about the segment Jonathan is conducting:

"The goblins really had been there. They might return--and they did. It was as if the splendour of life might boil over and waste to steam and froth. In its dissolution one heard the terrible, ominous note, and a goblin, with increased malignity, walked quietly over the universe from end to end. Panic and emptiness! Panic and emptiness! Even the flaming ramparts of the world might fall. Beethoven chose to make all right in the end. He built the ramparts up. He blew with his mouth for the second time, and again the goblins were scattered. He brought back the gusts of splendour, the heroism, the youth, the magnificence of life and of death, and, amid vast roarings of a superhuman joy, he led his Fifth Symphony to its conclusion. But the goblins were there. They could return. He had said so bravely, and that is why one can trust Beethoven when he says other things."

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