Ludwig Van Beethoven 9th Symphony

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Symphony number nine in D minor, Op.125, the "Choral" is the outstanding piece accompanied with a vocal chorus. Beethoven began concentrated work on the piece in 1822. It occupied him throughout 1823, and he completed it in February 1824. The first performance took place at the Karntnertor Theater in Vienna on May 7, 1824. The deaf composer stood on stage beating time and turning the pages of his score, but the real conducting was done by Michael Umlauf. The first American performance was given on May 20, 1846 by the New York Philharmonic under George Loder. Its performance can never be an ordinary event, just another concert, it is something special because the feeling you get inside when you hear it for the first time. The work of Friedrich von Schiller to set "An die Freude" should be much of the credit of the ninth symphony, but Beethoven's ability to put into music; it's an art song, which is lovely poetry put into music.

By 1823, Beethoven was not yet sure whether the finale would be vocal or instrumental. Once the symphony was finished, a performance had to be organized. Beethoven saved the premiere for the city that had been his home for the past thirty-one years. At the end of the premiere, Beethoven was still hunched over toward the orchestra, so he was gently turned around so that he might see the applause he could not hear. "The D" turns out to be the "answer" on which the whole orchestra agrees in the great fortissimo summit of that first crescendo, but the tense anticipation of that note is a personal, marvelous, and utterly characteristic touch"(Orga 155).

The ninth symphony is my favorite symphony just because the music is so heavenly. It seems in the beginning of the piece brings a person from darkness to light. Beethoven, I believe, was ahead of his time. To me, he is the greatest composer of all time. His music is not just sounds of music played together in harmony, but a way of life. The music he created for the world is not just to listen to it, but grabs onto the emotion he was setting up. Beethoven's unordinary style cannot ever be copied by any composer or music artist. Today, when we hear music of any kind, we can only thank a certain person, and that person should be Ludwig van Beethoven.

This is how I heard the music, piece by piece with some help to understand and hear it. As I began listening to it, closing my eyes I could actually see the conductor instructing the band to perform each note. Just so you know before hand, the lyrics to the music came from the CD with trademark of Delta Music Inc. The movement opens agitatedly as the orchestra picks up fragments of one theme after another from the previous three movements, as if seeking a satisfactory vehicle for its expression; but each is discarded in turn. The first seven notes of the main theme to come are tentatively uttered, but it too is abandoned as the search continues. Once again the theme begins, this time in the woodwinds, but it soon breaks off. Finally, the theme emerges decisively in the basses for a subdued first statement. The second statement is calm, tranquil, confident, and the theme continues onward in the various voices of the orchestra, broad and flowing. The winds make a strong statement of the theme. The flow of the music abruptly halts--there are rapid shifts--great agitation, until the orchestra introduces the baritone singing the first three lines of the poem, rejecting the feverish discords of the previous passage, calling for a different music, whose nature is suggested by the strings beneath his voice: O Freunde, nicht diese Töne,

O friends, not these notes!
sondern lasst uns angenehmere
Rather let us take up something more
anstimmen, und freudenvollere.
pleasant, and more joyful.
The chorus echoes his "Freude!" and he is off through the first part of the ode on the main theme: Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Joy, lovely divine light,
Tochter aus Elysium
Daughter of Elysium
Wir betreten...
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