11.19.2008

Beethoven's 9th Symphony

Completed in 1824, Symphony No. 9 was the last symphony of then deaf composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. The 9th Symphony incorporates a well known German poem by poet, Friedrich Schiller entitled, 'Ode to Joy.' This is the first time that a composer used soloists and chorus in a symphonic work and gave them as much musical importance as the orchestra it self. At the time of its creation it was unlike anything anyone had ever heard before. For information about the 9th Symphony of Beethoven check out Wikipedia.

I had the pleasure of singing the last movement of the 9th Symphony while studying at the University of Kansas. It is quite a demanding piece and we didn't have much time to learn the German but it was a memorable experience. Several of my students in the studio have been studying the Ode to Joy melody in their piano studies. It has become a classic especially since it was arranged for hymn singing and given an English sacred text. I hope you will enjoy these excerpts.

Excerpts from Beethoven's 9th Symphony




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