NEW MUSIC TUESDAY | Composer Carlos Simon's "Fate Now Conquers"

The Sphinx Symphony Orchestra virtually performed the new Beethoven-inspired work


Simon spoke exclusively with The Violin Channel about the piece which was written in 2020.

"This piece was inspired by a journal entry from Ludwig van Beethoven’s notebook written in 1815," Simon said. "The journal entry featured a passage from the Iliad:

'Iliad. The Twenty-Second Book

But Fate now conquers; I am hers, and yet not she shall share in my renown; that life is left to every noble spirit
And that some great deed shall beget that all lives shall inherit.'

"We know that Beethoven strived to overcome many obstacles in his life and documented his aspirations to prevail, despite his ailments. Whatever the specific reason for including this particularly profound passage from the Iliad, in the end, it seems that Beethoven relinquished to fate.

"My mentor and the composer-residence for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Gabriela Lena Frank, asked me and two other composers (Jessica Hunt and Iman Habibi) to write a musical response to Beethoven symphonies 4,7 and 8 for the orchestra. The piece premiered in September 2020 with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting.

"My personal process was to remind myself to just get out of the way and to not think too much. Beethoven is and was a MUSICAL GIANT! I wanted to pay homage to Beethoven but yet remain true to my artistic voice. This meant trying to find similarities between Beethoven's music and my own.

"This is part of the intent of the piece — releasing one's expectations and hoping for the best."