ode to joy

The ‘Ode To Joy’ at the climax of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is one of the great moments in music.

As a singer with the CBSO Chorus, I’ve been fortunate to take part in several performances, including two with Sir Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmonic in the Musikverein in 2002, recorded by EMI.

Beethoven 9 is of course one of the masterworks of Western civilisation.

The CBSO Chorus has been singing since 1973 during which time it’s clocked up 55 performances in countries around the world.

CBSO Chorus – Most Performed Works

And we’ve got more performances scheduled across Europe during the next 18 months, some with CBSO Music Director Andris Nelsons.

The Chorus is also invited by other orchestras to perform the piece as was the case in January 2011 when the Manchester Camerata under Douglas Boyd put Beethoven 9 through its paces.

The results can be heard in a new recording released by Avie Records (Avie 2245), which got a good write-up yesterday in the Sunday Times.

‘..the chorus is tumultuously joyful,’ and for the ‘Ode To Joy,’ you can’t say fairer than that.

Beethoven 9 – Avie Records website

Another memorable performance was last November in the Barbican in London with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly.

That performance wasn’t filmed, but here’s the same orchestra and conductor from 2009 with their chorus doing the piece proud.

Beethoven 9 finale – Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

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