Beethoven Symphony No. 9 "Choral" - Herbert von Karajan (Berliner Philharmoniker)
A production of Telemundial, recorded in September & December 1983 at the Philarmonie, Berlin.
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 in the Theater am Kärntnertor, 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 Beethoven and 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 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.
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 symphony is regarded by many critics and musicologists as Beethoven's greatest work and one of the supreme achievements in the history of western music. One of the best-known works in common practice music, it stands as one of the most performed symphonies in the world.
The symphony is in four movements. 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). This was the first time he did this in a symphony, although he had done so in some previous works.
The structure of each movement is as follows:
I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
II. Molto vivace
III. Adagio molto e cantabile
IV. Finale: Presto - Allegro assai - Recitativo - Allegro assai
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 text is largely taken from Friedrich Schiller, with a few additional introductory words written specifically by Beethoven.
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2 years, 2 months ago
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