The Ninth Symphony premiered in Vienna on May 7th, 1824. It was based on a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785. For over 20 years, Beethoven labored to find a way to incorporate it into music. Finally, in an unprecedented way, he injected the poem, voices, in the fourth movement of the symphony making it the first Choral Symphony ever.
On the night of the premiere, everyone in the concert hall went on uncontrollable joy, except one person. Beethoven, the man who wrote the piece, who by then was completely deaf didn’t even hear a single note. That cruel and ironic reality left the composer a bystander who observed the gesture of the audience from a world of silence. This historic evening turned out to be the last public appearance for Beethoven. With the ninth symphony, il grand maestro, Ludwig van Beethoven concluded composing symphonies.
The ninth symphony is unmistakable self portrait of Beethoven’s life. The four movements go through extreme wave of emotions: from total calmness to turmoil; from tenderness to pure terror; and finally from somber to jubilant. To me what makes Beethoven’s music extraordinary is that I cannot listen to any of his works without thinking about his life. His tormented youth in a household of alcoholic and abusive father, his exhaustive search for the perfect family of his own, and his desperate attempt to keep the women he loved, and his agonizing life of loneliness and deafness are always in the backdrop of his genious work.
Beethoven left an immortal impression of his mastery of music on all humanity. The 9th symphony is a symbol of faith and brotherhood and it indeed succeeded its universality. The European Union chose Beethoven's 9th as the EU anthem. In Japan, it is traditionally performed during New Year's celebration.
BEETHOVEN Two Romances for Violin and Orchestra
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9, Choral
**We meet at 7:15 at Pearl Cup cafe/box office between Meyerson and Winspear. This information center is on the East side detached from the main building .