ode to joy 2

As the final touches are being to put to this evening’s Opening Ceremony for London 2012, another crowd will be dispersing just a few miles away at the Royal Albert Hall.

They’ll have heard the annual Proms performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, ‘Choral.’

This year’s performance is the climax of a Beethoven symphony cycle at the Proms by Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

It’s been a memorable series of concerts by a group of young musicians, many in their early 20s with the youngest member being just 15.

Appropriately, they’ll be joined this evening by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.

Over the past few years, the CBSO Chorus has appeared at the Proms for Beethoven 9 – singing the finale with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2004, the BBC Philharmonic in 2008  and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 2009.

So I can speak from experience when I say that trying to sing Beethoven 9, when you’re moved to tears by the emotion of the occasion and the power of the words and music, is almost impossible.

If you’re still feeling lukewarm about London 2012, then listening to Prom 18 will be the perfect warm-up to the Olympics.

Let the Games begin.

BBC Prom 18 – BBC iPlayer

Ode To Joy – 27th February 2012

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