|Symphony No. 9|
|by Ludwig van Beethoven|
A page (leaf 12 recto) from Beethoven's manuscript
|Text||Friedrich Schiller's "Ode to Joy"|
|Duration||about 70 minutes|
|Scoring||Orchestra with SATB chorus and soloists|
|Date||May 7, 1824|
|Location||Theater am Kärntnertor, Vienna|
|Conductor||Michael Umlauf and Ludwig van Beethoven|
|Performers||Kärntnertor house orchestra, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde with soloists: Henriette Sontag (soprano), Caroline Unger (alto), Anton Haizinger (tenor), and Joseph Seipelt (bass)|
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, also known as Beethoven's 9th, is the final complete symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, composed between 1822 and 1824. It was first performed in Vienna on 7 May 1824. One of the best-known works in common practice music,it is regarded by many critics and musicologists as one of Beethoven's greatest works and one of the supreme achievements in the history of western music. In the 2010s, it stands as one of the most performed symphonies in the world.
D minor is a minor scale based on D, consisting of the pitches D, E, F, G, A, B♭, and C. Its key signature has one flat. Its relative major is F major and its parallel major is D major.
In musical composition, the opus number is the "work number" that is assigned to a composition, or to a set of compositions, to indicate the chronological order of the composer's production. Opus numbers are used to distinguish among compositions with similar titles; the word is abbreviated as "Op." for a single work, or "Opp." when referring to more than one work.
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the classical and romantic eras in classical music, he remains one of the most recognized and influential musicians of this period, and is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time.
The symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony(thus making it a choral symphony). The words are sung during the final (4th) movement of the symphony by four vocal soloists and a chorus. They were taken from the "Ode to Joy", a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with text additions made by Beethoven.
A choral symphony is a musical composition for orchestra, choir, and sometimes solo vocalists that, in its internal workings and overall musical architecture, adheres broadly to symphonic musical form. The term "choral symphony" in this context was coined by Hector Berlioz when he described his Roméo et Juliette as such in his five-paragraph introduction to that work. The direct antecedent for the choral symphony is Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Beethoven's Ninth incorporates part of the Ode an die Freude, a poem by Friedrich Schiller, with text sung by soloists and chorus in the last movement. It is the first example of a major composer's use of the human voice on the same level as instruments in a symphony.
A choir is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the medieval era to the present, or popular music repertoire. Most choirs are led by a conductor, who leads the performances with arm and face gestures.
"Ode to Joy", is an ode written in the summer of 1785 by German poet, playwright, and historian Friedrich Schiller and published the following year in Thalia. A slightly revised version appeared in 1808, changing two lines of the first and omitting the last stanza.
In 2001, Beethoven's original, hand-written manuscript of the score, held by the Berlin State Library, was added to the United Nations Memory of the World Programme Heritage list, becoming the first musical score so designated.
The Berlin State Library is a universal library in Berlin, Germany and a property of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. It is one of the largest libraries in Europe, and one of the most important academic research libraries in the German-speaking world. It collects texts, media and cultural works from all fields in all languages, from all time periods and all countries of the world, which are of interest for academic and research purposes. Some famous items in its collection include the oldest biblical illustrations in the fifth-century Quedlinburg Itala fragment, a Gutenberg Bible, the main autograph collection of Goethe, the world's largest collection of Johann Sebastian Bach's and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's manuscripts, and the original score of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international co-operation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It was established after World War II, with the aim of preventing future wars, and succeeded the ineffective League of Nations. Its headquarters, which are subject to extraterritoriality, are in Manhattan, New York City, and it has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.
UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme is an international initiative launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity against collective amnesia, neglect, the ravages of time and climatic conditions, and wilful and deliberate destruction. It calls for the preservation of valuable archival holdings, library collections and private individual compendia all over the world for posterity, the reconstitution of dispersed or displaced documentary heritage, and the increased accessibility to and dissemination of these items.
The Philharmonic Society of London originally commissioned the symphony in 1817.The main composition work was done between autumn 1822 and the completion of the autograph in February 1824. The symphony emerged from other pieces by Beethoven that, while completed works in their own right, are also in some sense "sketches" (rough outlines) for the future symphony. The Choral Fantasy Opus. 80 (1808), basically a piano concerto movement, brings in a choir and vocal soloists near the end for the climax. The vocal forces sing a theme first played instrumentally, and this theme is reminiscent of the corresponding theme in the Ninth Symphony (for a detailed comparison, see Choral Fantasy).
A piano concerto is a type of concerto, a solo composition in the Classical music genre which is composed for a piano player, which is typically accompanied by an orchestra or other large ensemble. Piano concertos are typically virtuoso showpieces which require an advanced level of technique on the instrument, including melodic lines interspersed with rapid scales, arpeggios, chords, complex contrapuntal parts and other challenging material. When piano concertos are performed by a professional concert pianist, a large grand piano is almost always used, as the grand piano has a fuller tone and more projection than an upright piano. Piano concertos are typically written out in music notation, including sheet music for the pianist, orchestra parts for the orchestra members, and a full score for the conductor, who leads the orchestra in the accompaniment of the soloist.
The Fantasy (Fantasia) for piano, vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra, Op. 80, usually called the Choral Fantasy, was composed in 1808 by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Going further back, an earlier version of the Choral Fantasy theme is found in the song "Gegenliebe" (Returned Love) for piano and high voice, which dates from before 1795.According to Robert W. Gutman, Mozart's K. 222 Offertory in D minor, "Misericordias Domini", written in 1775, contains a melody that foreshadows "Ode to Joy".
Although his major works had primarily been premiered in Vienna, Beethoven was keen to have his latest composition performed in Berlin as soon as possible after finishing it, as he thought that musical taste in Vienna had become dominated by Italian composers such as Rossini.When his friends and financiers heard this, they urged him to premiere the symphony in Vienna in the form of a petition signed by a number of prominent Viennese music patrons and performers.
Gioachino Antonio Rossini was an Italian composer who gained fame for his 39 operas, although he also wrote many songs, some chamber music and piano pieces, and some sacred music. He set new standards for both comic and serious opera before retiring from large-scale composition while still in his thirties, at the height of his popularity.
Beethoven was flattered by the adoration of Vienna, so the Ninth Symphony was premiered on 7 May 1824 in the Theater am Kärntnertor in Vienna along with the overture The Consecration of the House (Die Weihe des Hauses) and three parts of the Missa solemnis (the Kyrie, Credo, and Agnus Dei). This was the composer's first onstage appearance in 12 years; the hall was packed with an eager audience and a number of musicians.
The premiere of Symphony No. 9 involved the largest orchestra ever assembled by Beethovenand required the combined efforts of the Kärntnertor house orchestra, the Vienna Music Society (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde), and a select group of capable amateurs. While no complete list of premiere performers exists, many of Vienna's most elite performers are known to have participated.
The soprano and alto parts were sung by two famous young singers: Henriette Sontag and Caroline Unger. German soprano Henriette Sontag was 18 years old when Beethoven personally recruited her to perform in the premiere of the Ninth.Also personally recruited by Beethoven, 20-year-old contralto Caroline Unger, a native of Vienna, had gained critical praise in 1821 appearing in Rossini's Tancredi . After performing in Beethoven's 1824 premiere, Unger then found fame in Italy and Paris. Italian composers Donizetti and Bellini were known to have written roles specifically for her voice. Anton Haizinger and Joseph Seipelt sang the tenor and bass parts, respectively.
Although the performance was officially directed by Michael Umlauf, the theatre's Kapellmeister, Beethoven shared the stage with him. However, two years earlier, Umlauf had watched as the composer's attempt to conduct a dress rehearsal of his opera Fidelio ended in disaster. So this time, he instructed the singers and musicians to ignore the almost totally deaf Beethoven. At the beginning of every part, Beethoven, who sat by the stage, gave the tempos. He was turning the pages of his score and beating time for an orchestra he could not hear.
There are a number of anecdotes about the premiere of the Ninth. Based on the testimony of the participants, there are suggestions that it was underrehearsed (there were only two full rehearsals) and rather scrappy in execution.[ citation needed ] On the other hand, the premiere was a great success. In any case, Beethoven was not to blame, as violinist Joseph Böhm recalled:
Beethoven himself conducted, that is, he stood in front of a conductor's stand and threw himself back and forth like a madman. At one moment he stretched to his full height, at the next he crouched down to the floor, he flailed about with his hands and feet as though he wanted to play all the instruments and sing all the chorus parts. – The actual direction was in [Louis] Duport'shands; we musicians followed his baton only.
When the audience applauded—testimonies differ over whether at the end of the scherzo or symphony—Beethoven was several measures off and still conducting. Because of that, the contralto Caroline Unger walked over and turned Beethoven around to accept the audience's cheers and applause. According to the critic for the Theater-Zeitung, "the public received the musical hero with the utmost respect and sympathy, listened to his wonderful, gigantic creations with the most absorbed attention and broke out in jubilant applause, often during sections, and repeatedly at the end of them." [ citation needed ]The audience acclaimed him through standing ovations five times; there were handkerchiefs in the air, hats, raised hands, so that Beethoven, who could not hear the applause, could at least see the ovations.
The first German edition was printed by B. Schott's Söhne (Mainz) in 1826. The Breitkopf & Härtel edition dating from 1864 has been used widely by orchestras.In 1997, Bärenreiter published an edition by Jonathan Del Mar. According to Del Mar, this edition corrects nearly 3,000 mistakes in the Breitkopf edition, some of which were "remarkable". David Levy, however, criticized this edition, saying that it could create "quite possibly false" traditions. Breitkopf also published a new edition by Peter Hauschild in 2005.
The symphony is scored for the following orchestra. These are by far the largest forces needed for any Beethoven symphony; at the premiere, Beethoven augmented them further by assigning two players to each wind part.
Voices (fourth movement only)
The symphony is in four movements. The structure of each movement is as follows:
| Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso ||2|
|Molto vivace ||3|
|Adagio molto e cantabile ||4|
|Andante moderato ||3|
|Lo stesso tempo||12|
|Allegro assai ||4|
|Presto ("O Freunde")||3|
|Allegro assai ("Freude, schöner Götterfunken")||4|
|Alla marcia; Allegro assai vivace ||6|
|Andante maestoso ||3|
|Allegro energico, sempre ben marcato |
("Freude, schöner Götterfunken" – "Seid umschlungen, Millionen!")
|Allegro ma non tanto ||2|
Beethoven changes the usual pattern of Classical symphonies in placing the scherzo movement before the slow movement (in symphonies, slow movements are usually placed before scherzi). ♭ major.This was the first time he did this in a symphony, although he had done so in some previous works, including the String Quartet Op. 18 no. 5, the "Archduke" piano trio Op. 97, the Hammerklavier piano sonata Op. 106. Haydn, too, had used this arrangement in a number of his own works such as the String Quartet No. 30 in E
The first movement is in sonata form without an exposition repeat. It begins with open fifths (A and E) played pianissimo by tremolo strings, steadily building up until the first main theme in D minor at m. 17.
The opening, with its perfect fifth quietly emerging, resembles the sound of an orchestra tuning up.
At the outset of the recapitulation (which repeats the main melodic themes) in m. 301, the theme returns, this time played fortissimo and in D major, rather than D minor. The movement ends with a massive coda that takes up nearly a quarter of the movement, as in Beethoven's Third and Fifth Symphonies.
A typical performance lasts about 15 minutes.
The second movement is a scherzo and trio. Like the first movement, the scherzo is in D minor, with the introduction bearing a passing resemblance to the opening theme of the first movement, a pattern also found in the Hammerklavier piano sonata, written a few years earlier. At times during the piece, Beethoven specifies one downbeat every three measures—perhaps because of the fast tempo—with the direction ritmo di tre battute (rhythm of three beats) and one beat every four measures with the direction ritmo di quattro battute (rhythm of four beats). Beethoven had been criticized before for failing to adhere to standard Classical form for his compositions. He used this movement to answer his critics.[ citation needed ] Normally, a scherzo is in triple time. Beethoven wrote this piece in triple time but punctuated it in a way that, when coupled with the tempo, makes it sound as if it is in quadruple time.
While adhering to the standard compound ternary design (three-part structure) of a dance movement (scherzo-trio-scherzo or minuet-trio-minuet), the scherzo section has an elaborate internal structure; it is a complete sonata form. Within this sonata form, the first group of the exposition (the statement of the main melodic themes) starts out with a fugue in D minor on the subject below.
For the second subject, it modulates to the unusual key of C major. The exposition then repeats before a short development section, where Beethoven explores other ideas. The recapitulation (repeating of the melodic themes heard in the opening of the movement) further develops the exposition's themes, also containing timpani solos. A new development section leads to the repeat of the recapitulation, and the scherzo concludes with a brief codetta.
The contrasting trio section is in D major and in duple time. The trio is the first time the trombones play. Following the trio, the second occurrence of the scherzo, unlike the first, plays through without any repetition, after which there is a brief reprise of the trio, and the movement ends with an abrupt coda.
The duration of the movement is about 12 minutes, but this may vary depending on whether two (frequently omitted) repeats are played.
The third movement is a lyrical, slow movement in B♭ major – a minor sixth away from the symphony's main key of D minor. It is in a double variation form, with each pair of variations progressively elaborating the rhythm and melodic ideas. The first variation, like the theme, is in 4
4 time, the second in 12
8. The variations are separated by passages in 3
4, the first in D major, the second in G major, the third in E♭ major, the fourth in F♯ major, and the fifth in B major. The final variation is twice interrupted by episodes in which loud fanfares from the full orchestra are answered by octaves by the first violins. A prominent French horn solo is assigned to the fourth player.
A typical performance lasts about 16 minutes.
The choral finale is Beethoven's musical representation of universal brotherhood based on the 'Ode to Joy' theme and is in theme and variations form.
The movement starts with an introduction in which musical material from each of the preceding three movements – though none are literal quotations of previous music ''O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!' Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen, und freudenvollere.'' ("Oh friends, not these sounds! Let us instead strike up more pleasing and more joyful ones!").– are successively presented and then dismissed by instrumental recitatives played by the low strings. Following this, the 'Ode to Joy' theme is finally introduced by the cellos and double basses. After three instrumental variations on this theme, the human voice is presented for the first time in the symphony by the baritone soloist, who sings words written by Beethoven himself:
At about 24 minutes in length, the last movement is the longest of the four movements. Indeed, it is longer than some entire symphonies of the Classical era. Its form has been disputed by musicologists, as Nicholas Cook explains:
Beethoven had difficulty describing the finale himself; in letters to publishers, he said that it was like his Choral Fantasy, Op. 80, only on a much grander scale. We might call it a cantata constructed round a series of variations on the 'Joy' theme. But this is rather a loose formulation, at least by comparison with the way in which many twentieth-century critics have tried to codify the movement's form. Thus there have been interminable arguments as to whether it should be seen as a kind of sonata form (with the 'Turkish' music of bar 331, which is in B♭ major, functioning as a kind of second group), or a kind of concerto form (with bars 1–207 and 208–330 together making up a double exposition), or even a conflation of four symphonic movements into one (with bars 331–594 representing a Scherzo, and bars 595–654 a slow movement). The reason these arguments are interminable is that each interpretation contributes something to the understanding of the movement, but does not represent the whole story.
Cook gives the following table describing the form of the movement:
|1||1||d||Introduction with instrumental recitative and review of movements 1–3|
|116||116||'Joy' variation 1|
|140||140||'Joy' variation 2|
|164||164||'Joy' variation 3, with extension|
|208||1||d||Introduction with vocal recitative|
|241||4||D||V.1||'Joy' variation 4|
|269||33||V.2||'Joy' variation 5|
|297||61||V.3||'Joy' variation 6, with extension providing transition to|
|343||13||'Joy' variation 7 ('Turkish march')|
|375||45||C.4||'Joy' variation 8, with extension|
|431||101||Fugato episode based on 'Joy' theme|
|543||213||D||V.1||'Joy' variation 9|
|595||1||G||C.1||Episode: 'Seid umschlungen'|
|627||76||g||C.3||Episode: 'Ihr stürzt nieder'|
|655||1||D||V.1, C.3||Double fugue (based on 'Joy' and 'Seid umschlungen' themes)|
|730||76||C.3||Episode: 'Ihr stürzt nieder'|
|763||1||D||V.1||Coda figure 1 (based on 'Joy' theme)|
|851||1||D||C.1||Coda figure 2|
|920||70||Coda figure 3 (based on 'Joy' theme)|
In line with Cook's remarks, Charles Rosen characterizes the final movement as a symphony within a symphony, played without interruption.This "inner symphony" follows the same overall pattern as the Ninth Symphony as a whole:
The movement has a thematic unity in which every part is based on either the main theme, the "Seid umschlungen" theme, or some combination of the two.[ citation needed ] Indeed, Rosen also notes that the movement can also be analysed as a set of variations and simultaneously as a concerto sonata form with double exposition (with the fugato acting both as a development section and the second tutti of the concerto).
The text is largely taken from Schiller's "Ode to Joy", with a few additional introductory words written specifically by Beethoven (shown in italics).The text, without repeats, is shown below, with a translation into English. The score includes many repeats. For the full libretto, including all repetitions, see German Wikisource.
O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Oh friends, not these sounds!
Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Joy, beautiful spark of divinity,
Wem der große Wurf gelungen,
Whoever has been lucky enough
Freude trinken alle Wesen
Every creature drinks in joy
Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen
Gladly, just as His suns hurtle
Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
Be embraced, you millions!
Towards the end of the movement, the choir sings the last four lines of the main theme, concluding with "Alle Menschen" before the soloists sing for one last time the song of joy at a slower tempo. The chorus repeats parts of "Seid umschlungen, Millionen!", then quietly sings, "Tochter aus Elysium", and finally, "Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Götterfunken!".
Music critics almost universally consider the Ninth Symphony one of Beethoven's greatest works, and among the greatest musical works ever written.The finale, however, has had its detractors: "[e]arly critics rejected [the finale] as cryptic and eccentric, the product of a deaf and aging composer." Verdi admired the first three movements but lamented the confused structure and the bad writing for the voices in the last movement:
The alpha and omega is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, marvelous in the first three movements, very badly set in the last. No one will ever approach the sublimity of the first movement, but it will be an easy task to write as badly for voices as in the last movement. And supported by the authority of Beethoven, they will all shout: "That's the way to do it...— Giuseppe Verdi, 1878
Conductors in the historically informed performance movement, notably Roger Norrington,have used Beethoven's suggested tempos, to mixed reviews. Benjamin Zander has made a case for following Beethoven's metronome markings, both in writing and in performances with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra of London. While one account holds that Beethoven's metronome still exists and was tested and found accurate, a 2013 mathematics paper finds that his metronome was likely damaged and out of calibration. Some hold Beethoven's markings to be accurate if interpreted metrically, i.e. in relation to the indicated note values halved. They take this interpretation to be the standard also for Beethoven's contemporaries.
A number of conductors have made alterations in the instrumentation of the symphony. Notably, Richard Wagner doubled many woodwind passages, a modification greatly extended by Gustav Mahler,who revised the orchestration of the Ninth to make it sound like what he believed Beethoven would have wanted if given a modern orchestra. Wagner's Dresden performance of 1864 was the first to place the chorus and the solo singers behind the orchestra as has since become standard; previous conductors placed them between the orchestra and the audience.
Beethoven's indication that the 2nd bassoon should double the basses in measures 115–164 of the finale was not included in the Breitkopf & Härtel parts, though it was included in the full score.
The British premiere of the symphony was presented on 21 March 1825 by its commissioners, the Philharmonic Society of London, at its Argyll Rooms conducted by Sir George Smart and with the choral part sung in Italian. The American premiere was presented on 20 May 1846 by the newly formed New York Philharmonic at Castle Garden (in an attempt to raise funds for a new concert hall), conducted by the English-born George Loder, with the choral part translated into English for the first time.
Richard Wagner conducted the symphony many times in his career. His last performance took place in 1872 at a concert to mark the foundation stone for the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Wagner later published an essay entitled "The rendering of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony" in which he described the changes he made to the orchestration (see above) for the 1872 performance.
The London Philharmonic Choir debuted on 15 May 1947 performing the Ninth Symphony with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Victor de Sabata at the Royal Albert Hall.In 1951, Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra reopened the Bayreuth Festival with a performance of the symphony, after the Allies temporarily suspended the Festival following the Second World War.
American conductor Leonard Bernstein made his first of three recordings of the Beethoven Ninth in 1964 with the New York Philharmonic, for Columbia Masterworks, with soloists Martina Arroyo (soprano), Regina Sarfaty (mezzo), Nicholas di Virgilio (tenor), Norman Scott (bass), and the Juilliard Chorus. It was later reissued on CD.
Bernstein made his second recording of the piece with the Vienna Philharmonic for Deutsche Grammophon, in 1979. This featured Gwyneth Jones (soprano), Hanna Schwarz (mezzo), René Kollo (tenor), and Kurt Moll (bass), with the chorus of the Vienna State Opera.
Bernstein conducted a version of the Ninth at the Schauspielhaus in East Berlin, with Freiheit (Freedom) replacing Freude (Joy), to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall during Christmas 1989.This concert was performed by an orchestra and chorus made up of many nationalities: from both Germanies, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Chorus of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and members of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Philharmonischer Kinderchor Dresden; from the Soviet Union, members of the orchestra of the Kirov Theatre; from the United Kingdom, members of the London Symphony Orchestra; from the US, members of the New York Philharmonic; and from France, members of the Orchestre de Paris. Soloists were June Anderson, soprano, Sarah Walker, mezzo-soprano, Klaus König, tenor, and Jan-Hendrik Rootering, bass. It was the last time that Bernstein conducted the symphony; he died ten months later.
Sir Georg Solti recorded the symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Chorus on two occasions: first in 1972 with soloists Pilar Lorengar, Yvonne Minton, Stuart Burrows, and Martti Talvela; and again in 1986 with soloists Jessye Norman, Reinhild Runkel, Robert Schunk, and Hans Sotin. On both occasions, the chorus was prepared by Margaret Hillis. The second recording won the 1987 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance.
The BBC Proms Youth Choir performed the piece alongside Sir Georg Solti's UNESCO World Orchestra for Peace at the Royal Albert Hall during the 2018 Proms at Prom 9, titled "War & Peace" as a commemoration to the centenary of the end of World War One.
There have been various attempts to record the Ninth to come closer to what Beethoven's contemporaries would have heard, i.e., with period instruments:
At 79 minutes, one of the longest Ninths recorded is Karl Böhm's, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in 1981 with Jessye Norman and Plácido Domingo among the soloists.
Many later composers of the Romantic period and beyond were influenced by the Ninth Symphony.
An important theme in the finale of Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 1 in C minor is related to the "Ode to Joy" theme from the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. When this was pointed out to Brahms, he is reputed to have retorted "Any fool can see that!" Brahms's first symphony was, at times, both praised and derided as "Beethoven's Tenth".
The Ninth Symphony influenced the forms that Anton Bruckner used for the movements of his symphonies. His Symphony No. 3 is in the same D-minor key as Beethoven's 9th and makes substantial use of thematic ideas from it. The colossal slow movement of Bruckner's Symphony No. 7, "as usual", takes the same A–B–A–B–A form as the 3rd movement of Beethoven's symphony and also uses some figuration from it.
In the opening notes of the third movement of his Symphony No. 9 (From the New World), Antonín Dvořák pays homage to the scherzo of this symphony with his falling fourths and timpani strokes.
Likewise, Béla Bartók borrows the opening motif of the scherzo from Beethoven's Ninth symphony to introduce the second movement scherzo in his own Four Orchestral Pieces, Op. 12 (Sz 51).
One legend is that the compact disc was deliberately designed to have a 74-minute playing time so that it could accommodate Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Kees Immink, Philips' chief engineer, who developed the CD, recalls that a commercial tug-of-war between the development partners, Sony and Philips, led to a settlement in a neutral 12-cm diameter format. The 1951 performance of the Ninth Symphony conducted by Furtwängler was brought forward as the perfect excuse for the change,and was put forth in a Philips news release celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Compact Disc as the reason for the 74-minute length.
In the film The Pervert's Guide to Ideology , the psychoanalytical Communist philosopher Slavoj Žižek comments on the use of the Ode by Nazism, Bolshevism, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the East-West German Olympic team, Southern Rhodesia, Abimael Guzmán (leader of the Shining Path), and the Council of Europe and the European Union.
During the division of Germany in the Cold War, the "Ode to Joy" segment of the symphony was played in lieu of an anthem at the Olympic Games for the United Team of Germany between 1956 and 1968. In 1972, the musical backing (without the words) was adopted as the Anthem of Europe by the Council of Europe and subsequently by the European Communities (now the European Union) in 1985.The "Ode to Joy" was used as the national anthem of Rhodesia between 1974 and 1979, as "Rise, O Voices of Rhodesia".
In 1907, the Presbyterian pastor Henry van Dyke wrote the hymn "Joyful, Joyful, we adore thee" while staying at Williams College.The hymn is commonly sung in English-language churches to the "Ode to Joy" melody from this symphony.
The German workers' movement began the tradition of performing the Ninth Symphony on New Year's Eve in 1918. Performances started at 11pm so that the symphony's finale would be played at the beginning of the new year. This tradition continued during the Nazi period and was also observed by East Germany after the war.
The Ninth Symphony is traditionally performed throughout Japan at the end of the year. In December 2009, for example, there were 55 performances of the symphony by various major orchestras and choirs in Japan.
It was introduced to Japan during World War I by German prisoners held at the Bandō prisoner-of-war camp. Japanese orchestras, notably the NHK Symphony Orchestra, began performing the symphony in 1925 and during World War II, the Imperial government promoted performances of the symphony, including on New Year's Eve. In an effort to capitalize on its popularity, orchestras and choruses undergoing economic hard times during Japan's reconstruction, performed the piece at year's end. In the 1960s, these year-end performances of the symphony became more widespread, and included the participation of local choirs and orchestras, firmly establishing a tradition that continues today.
Gustav Heinrich Ernst Martin Wilhelm Furtwängler was a German conductor and composer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest symphonic and operatic conductors of the 20th century.
Bruno Walter was a German-born conductor, pianist and composer. Born in Berlin, he left Germany in 1933 to escape the Third Reich, was naturalized as a French citizen in 1938, and settled in the United States in 1939. He worked closely with Gustav Mahler, whose music he helped to establish in the repertory, held major positions with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Salzburg Festival, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others, made recordings of historical and artistic significance, and is widely considered to be one of the great conductors of the 20th century.
The Piano Concerto No. 2 in B♭ major, Op. 83, by Johannes Brahms is separated by a gap of 22 years from his first piano concerto. Brahms began work on the piece in 1878 and completed it in 1881 while in Pressbaum near Vienna. It is dedicated to his teacher, Eduard Marxsen. The public premiere of the concerto was given in Budapest on 9 November 1881, with Brahms as soloist and the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, and was an immediate success. He proceeded to perform the piece in many cities across Europe.
The Symphony No. 3 in E♭ major, Op. 55, is a symphony in four movements by Ludwig van Beethoven. One of the composer's most celebrated works, the Eroica symphony is a large-scale composition that marked the beginning of Beethoven's creative middle-period.
The Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123, is a solemn mass composed by Ludwig van Beethoven from 1819 to 1823. It was first performed on 7 April 1824 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, under the auspices of Beethoven's patron Prince Nikolai Galitzin; an incomplete performance was given in Vienna on 7 May 1824, when the Kyrie, Credo, and Agnus Dei were conducted by the composer. It is generally considered one of the composer's supreme achievements and, along with Bach's Mass in B minor, one of the most significant Mass settings of the common practice period.
The Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54 by Dmitri Shostakovich was written in 1939, and first performed in Leningrad on 21 November 1939 by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under Yevgeny Mravinsky.
Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) composed his Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60, B. 112, in 1880. It was originally published as Symphony No. 1 and is dedicated to Hans Richter, who was the conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. With a performance time of approximately 40 minutes, the four-movement piece was one of the first of Dvořák’s large symphonic works to draw international attention. In it, he manages to capture some of the Czech national style within a standard Germanic classical-romantic form.
The Piano Concerto No. 5 in E♭ major, Op. 73, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto, was his last completed piano concerto. It was written between 1809 and 1811 in Vienna, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf, Beethoven's patron and pupil. The first performance took place on 13 January 1811 at the Palace of Prince Joseph Lobkowitz in Vienna, with Archduke Rudolf as the soloist, followed by a public concert on 28 November 1811 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig under conductor Johann Philipp Christian Schulz, the soloist being Friedrich Schneider. On 12 February 1812, Carl Czerny, another student of Beethoven's, gave the Vienna debut of this work.
The Gramophone Classical Music Awards, launched in 1977, are one of the most significant honours bestowed on recordings in the classical record industry. They are often viewed as equivalent to or surpassing the American Grammy award, and referred to as the Oscars for classical music. They are widely regarded as the most influential and prestigious classical music awards in the world.
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 10 in E♭ major is a hypothetical work, assembled in 1988 by Barry Cooper from Beethoven's fragmentary sketches for the first movement. All the sketches assembled were clearly intended for the same symphony, which would have followed the Ninth, since they appear together in several small groups, and there is consensus that Beethoven did intend to compose another symphony. Cooper's score was first performed at a concert given in 1988 by the Royal Philharmonic Society, London, to whom Beethoven himself had offered the new symphony in 1827. The score is published by Universal Edition, Vienna, and appeared in a new edition in 2013.
The Music Makers, Op. 69, is a work for contralto or mezzo-soprano, chorus and orchestra composed by Edward Elgar. It was dedicated to "my friend Nicholas Kilburn". It was first performed at the Birmingham Festival on 1 October 1912, conducted by the composer, with Muriel Foster as the soloist.
The so-called "Jena Symphony" is a symphony that was at one time attributed to Ludwig van Beethoven. The symphony was discovered by Fritz Stein in 1909 in the archives of a concert society in Jena, from which it derived its name. Stein believed it to be the work of Beethoven and it was so published by Breitkopf und Härtel in 1911. It is now known that the piece was the work of Friedrich Witt.
The Choral Symphony is a work by Gustav Holst for soprano soloist, chorus, and orchestra in a setting of verses by John Keats. Written in 1923–24, it was premiered in Leeds Town Hall on October 7, 1925, conducted by Albert Coates with Dorothy Silk as soloist. The same performers gave the work's second performance three weeks later in Queen's Hall, London. The work is sometimes known as the First Choral Symphony, although a planned 'second Choral Symphony' never progressed beyond some uncompleted sketches.
Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt, Op. 112 is a cantata for chorus and orchestra composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, based on verses by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and dedicated to him. The work was first performed in Vienna in 1815 and first published in 1822. The piece is in a single movement, with a typical performance taking between 7 and 8 minutes. The single movement is in two sections: (1) Meeresstille. Sostenuto. D major; and (2) Glückliche Fahrt. Allegro vivace. D major.
Masterworks Chorale is a choral ensemble based in San Mateo, California.
The Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 67, was written between 1804 and 1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music, and one of the most frequently played symphonies. First performed in Vienna's Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation soon afterward. E. T. A. Hoffmann described the symphony as "one of the most important works of the time". As is typical of symphonies in the classical period, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is in four movements.
The Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 39, is the second piano concerto by the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera. The work was commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for the pianist Hilde Somer, to whom the concerto is dedicated. It was first performed by Somer and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Izler Solomon on March 22, 1973.
The British première of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, also known as his "Choral Symphony", took place in London at the Argyll Rooms on 21 March 1825. The concert was given by the Philharmonic Society, who had commissioned the work.
the central artwork of Western music, the symphony to end all symphonies
An international collaboration between Philips and the Sony Corporation lead to the creation of the compact disc. The author explains how it came about
Selected books and scholarly articles:
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Scores, manuscripts and text