The European Union: The Anthem of Europe, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 ‘Ode to Joy’

Saturday, 4 May 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, EU blog post series, European Union, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  3 minutes

Flag Of Europe The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is a choral symphony, the final complete symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, composed between 1822 and 1824. It was first performed in Vienna on 7 May 1824. The symphony is regarded by many critics and musicologists as a masterpiece of Western classical music and one of the supreme achievements in the history of music. One of the best-known works in common practice music, it stands as one of the most frequently performed symphonies in the world.

The Ninth was the first example of a major composer scoring vocal parts in a symphony. The final (4th) movement of the symphony, commonly known as the Ode to Joy, features four vocal soloists and a chorus in the parallel modulated key of D major. The text was adapted from the “An die Freude (Ode to Joy)“, a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additional text written by Beethoven. In the 20th century, an instrumental arrangement of the chorus was adopted by the Council of Europe, and later the European Union, as the Anthem of Europe, because “it symbolizes the values that everyone shares and unity in diversity“.

Beethoven House in Baden, Germany, where he composed most parts of the Symphony No. 9 © Stadtgemeinde Baden/cc-by-sa-3.0-de Friedrich Schiller by Ludovike Simanowiz, 1794 Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler, ca. 1820 Ungargasse 5 in Vienna, Austria, where Beethoven finished the Symphony No. 9 © Pressemappe/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Beethoven House in Baden, Germany, where he composed most parts of the Symphony No. 9 © Stadtgemeinde Baden/cc-by-sa-3.0-de
In 2001, Beethoven’s original, hand-written manuscript of the score, held by the Berlin State Library, was added to the Memory of the World Programme Heritage list established by the United Nations, becoming the first musical score so designated.

Joy, beautiful spark of divinity,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, burning with fervour,
heavenly being, your sanctuary!
Your magic brings together
what custom has sternly divided.
All men shall become brothers,
wherever your gentle wings hover.

Whoever has been lucky enough
to become a friend to a friend,
Whoever has found a beloved wife,
let him join our songs of praise!
Yes, and anyone who can call one soul
his own on this earth!
Any who cannot, let them slink away
from this gathering in tears!

Read more on Wikipedia Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven) (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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