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Sunday, May 7, 2023

SUNDAY REVIEW / THIS KISS IS FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.

Conductor Daniel Barenboim leads the West Eastern Divan Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall, London

 Editor's note: The Ninth Symphony symbolizes powerfully the struggle through night into light, of progress against reaction, to which Beethoven dedicated his whole life and work. It is often expressed in a struggle between a dark minor key and a brilliant affirmative major key. 

GUEST BLOG / By History.com Editors--On May 7, 1824, Ludwig van Beethoven’s ninth and final symphony debuts at Vienna’s Theater am K√§rntnertor. Having lost his hearing years earlier, the celebrated composer nonetheless “conducts” the first performance of his Ninth Symphony, now widely considered to be one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. 

Beethoven

 Having established himself as one of the greatest composers of the     era in the early 1800s, Beethoven had almost completely lost his       hearing by 1814 but continued to compose. The Ninth Symphony   required the largest orchestra ever employed by Beethoven, and   was unusual at the time for its use of voices in addition to   instruments. 



.................................................................................................................................... Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony 

Performed by the West Eastern Divan Orchestra 

with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain 

Conducted by Daniel Barenboim 

At the Royal Albert Hall, London July 28 2012 

For entire YouTube performance CLICK HERE. ………………………………………………………………………………………. 

 Beethoven hand-picked two young singers, 18-year-old Henriette Sontag and 20-year-old Caroline Unger, for the soprano and alto parts. He stood on stage and appeared to conduct the orchestra when the Ninth debuted, although due to his deafness the players were instructed to ignore the composer and instead follow Michael Umlauf, the actual conductor. 

 Beethoven was several bars off from the actual music by the time the piece concluded. As he could not hear the applause, Unger had to turn him to face the audience as they hailed him with five standing ovations, raising their hats and handkerchiefs in the air. 

Critics consider the Ninth one of Beethoven’s crowning achievements. The choral section, adapted from the Friedrich Schiller poem “Ode to Joy,” has transcended the world of classical music and become one of the most often-played and easily recognizable pieces of music of all time. 

 The “Ode to Joy” has been interpreted in almost every way imaginable, and has been employed as an official or unofficial anthem by an enormous range of entities, including the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Nazi Party, the East-West German Olympic Team and the European Union. 

National Youth Choir of Great Britain at Royal Albert Hall, London, July 28, 2012

Ode To Joy, a poem by Friedrich Schiller, 1785 

Joy, beautiful spark of Divinity [or: of gods], 

Daughter of Elysium, 

We enter, drunk with fire, 

Heavenly One, thy Holiness! 

Thy magic binds again 

What custom strictly divided; 

All humans become brothers,

Where thy gentle wing abides. 


Whoever has succeeded in the great attempt, 

To be a friend's friend, 

Whoever has won a lovely wife, 

Add his to the jubilation! 

Yes, whoever also has just one other's Soul 

To call his own on this Earth's round! 

And he who never managed it should slink 

Weeping from this union! 


All creatures drink of joy 

At nature's breasts. 

All the Good, all the Evil 

Follow her trail of roses. 

Kisses she gave us and grapevines, 

A friend, proven in death. 

Lust was given to the serpent 

And the cherub stands before God. 


Gladly, as His suns fly 

through the heavens' grand plan 

Journey, brothers, on your way, 

Joyful, like a hero to victory. 


Be embraced, Millions! 

This kiss to all the world! 

Brothers, above the starry canopy 

There must dwell a loving Father. 

Are you collapsing, millions? 

Do you sense the Creator, world? 

Seek him above the starry canopy! 

Above stars must He reside.



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