Utter, absolute, glorious JOY

No, I am not announcing that Johnny Depp has called, pleading to play Emilio Sandoz in a movie adaptation of The Sparrow, although that would merit the same subject heading. I am simply wanted to share this YouTube video of a 3-year-old boy “conducting” the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 5th symphony.


Grownups have learned to sit quietly in symphony halls, but with a gigantic smile — far too big for his face to encompass — Jonathan shows what’s inside so many of us when we are utterly transported by music that is too glorious to bear: we want to fall to the floor and roll around laughing with delight after experiencing the exhilarating perfection of great music.

14 thoughts on “Utter, absolute, glorious JOY”

  1. Thank you for this link, Mary!
    And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that, please God, Johnny one day WILL contact you about playing Emilio!!

  2. ha! although i’ve been a professional musician for over 20 years, my friends are still horrified that often when i hear something absolutely amazing coming from a musician, all i can do is laugh out loud. that’s the highest praise i can give another musician!

  3. Anyone who can conduct Beethoven with such delirious joy while simultaneously managing his drippy nose has got my vote! And I love the way he just keels over with happiness at the end. Reminds me of the time I went to a Budapest String Quartet concert and they all got the giggles while playing. The audience, very respectable, mostly frowned, which set them off even more. It was just lovely.

  4. A chamber music concert by the Aolus Ensemble (sp?) included a ‘laugh-with-us’ movement with a slow plea from the flautist immediately repeated by a VERY vigorous response from the rest of the continuo, repeated as necessary until the whole audience was in hysterics! I believe it was a movement from a Rameau Opera — no program available now, sorry. The fact that it was played on period instruments for a highbrow audience just made it funnier!

  5. Thank you so much for posting this, Mary! I shared it on my Facebook page! It is SO wonderful to see such joy and pleasure!! This child is adorable and unmistakably talented! And I, too, hope that Johnny calls soon to let you know that he wants to play Emilio! He would be GREAT!!!! 🙂
    Happy Holidays!!!

  6. NONONO! Read that again — I was NOT writing to tell you that Mr. Depp would play Emilio. I was joking about how that would be the occasion of witless joy, should it occur, but it hadn’t!

    Two of the biggest stars in Hollywood have been attached to a film adaptation of The Sparrow: Antonio Banderas in the 1990s, at Universal Studios and Brad Pitt in the first decade of this century, at Warner Brothers. So it’s not impossible that the role might attract an actor of Mr. Depp’s caliber, the current attempt to film The Sparrow has no actor associated with the project yet.

  7. Haha! Let’s start a rumor that Johnny Depp IS going to play Emilio. Maybe if enough of us say it, it will come true!

  8. I would have been ECSTATIC if Antonio Banderas HAD signed on to play Emilio! He would be GREAT too!! That accent….!!! And dark, good looks…!! Sorry – getting lost in Antonio! I just want SOMEONE to get this thing off the ground! It SO deserves to be a movie!! 🙂

  9. Dear Mary:

    There appear to be far too few moments as revealing as when a child discovers the wonder of classical music. For some of us it occurred during the 1950’s reissue of Disney’s “Fantasia”. The abstract images attached to Bach’s “Tocatta and Fugue in Dmin.”, the outlandish colors attached to Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony”, and the absolute evil in Satan’s face in “Night on Bald Mountain”.

    We saw the film again during the 60’s, and it resurfaced just in time for our children. We have three copies in our collection at home: one plain VHS, the collector’s edition VHS, and a DVD. I’ve heard it said that “Fantasia” was never profitable. That may be a blessing in disguise; it means there will never be another film just like it.

    I gave a bit of thought to whom I would cast as Emilio. He’s a serious tough guy in the urban San Juan mold. Johnny Depp is a big draw, and Antonio Bandaras makes girls weak at the knees. However, just like Karen Allen, who appears rarely, but very well, there is another actor who has tremendous talent but who is under-utilized: Hechter Ubarry: Rico from Crocodile Dundee II. He’s a tough guy, he looks like a ball player, and his on-line bio indicates that he can play a variety of roles. It’s too bad that Al Pacino may be too old for the part. He’d have been perfect a few years ago.


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