|10,000 Japanese Voices Singing "Ode to Joy" in German|
BONKERS FOR BEETHOVEN’S 9TH—To celebrate Beethoven, the holidays and the maestro’s 242nd birthday, 10,000 Japanese jammed into an Osaka stadium to sing Ode an die Freude/Ode to Joy.
Thanks to YouTube that event is viewable. It was recorded in late December 2011.
CBS’ Lucy Craft reports, “Beethoven's Ninth is so beloved in Japan, it's known affectionately as daiku-- which means #9.”
The Beethoven craze began, strangely enough, during World War I, when German soldiers being held as prisoners in Japan staged a performance of #9, said Craft. By the mid-20th century, #9 had become a holiday hit.
Performed and sung all through the month, from concert halls to department stores, #9 is now a welcome, if predictable, gig for musicians, and conductors. "I have done (this) more than 150 times," said conductor Yutaka Sado, who recently conducted the 10,000 person chorus.
Source: CBS News via YouTube and perhaps by Schroeder.