Beethoven’s 9th Symphony
At this time of year Movement IV of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) is often performed by large choral groups. This symphony, the last one written by the composer between 1822 and 1824 when he was deaf, is considered to be his greatest. The entire four movements take about 80 minutes to perform. This was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony, making it a choral symphony.
The words are sung during the final fourth movement of the symphony by four vocal soloists and a choir. They were taken from a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 titled “Ode to Joy” and revised in 1803.
Here is a YouTube clip that shows Leonard Bernstein conducting the fourth movement:
This symphony will be performed on Friday, December 20th at 7:00 PM at Bunkamura Orchard Hall with Myung-Whun Chung conducting. Tamayo Yoshida will sing soprano, Ikuko Nakajima alto, Tetsutaro Shimizu tenor, and Hayato Kamie baritone. The choir will be performed by the New National Theater Chorus.