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The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
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Beethoven’s Ninth, played with 176 unique synthesizers

THEREMIN

Mandarinelectron | YouTube

Daniel Esparza - published on 06/26/17

The best-known work of the German composer in an unusual interpretation

When Lev Sergeyevich Termen, better known as Leon Theremin, invented his instrument in 1920, he never imagined almost a hundred years later Masami Takeuchi would pay tribute to him by creating another instrument based on the very same system. Takeuchi honored the inventor’s homeland as well, giving his instrument the appearance of a classic Matryoshka, the nested Russian dolls. The “Matryomin” was born. But what is a Theremin, to begin with?

The original Theremin is one of the earliest synthesizers in history. It basically consists of a frequency antenna that emits sounds depending on how close the interpreter’s hand is to it. It sounds a bit like a synthesized violin, but with a somewhat eerie mechanized quality that made it an excellent choice for science-fiction movie soundtracks.

In the video, 167 Japanese “matryominists” play a fragment of the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, adding a surprising twist which you will recognize as not included in the author’s original score.

If you want to read a more in-depth post on the matter, published by AtlasObscura, click here.

Tags:
Classical Music
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