The season concludes with a rousing finale, complete with choir and vocal soloists. In addition to Beethoven’s famous Ninth Symphony, audiences will also be treated to the love scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Beethoven never ceased to amaze his audiences. When he wrote his ninth and final symphony, he added both a choral element and vocal soloists and – just like that – he had created the world's first choral symphony. Despite being completely deaf by this time in his life, Beethoven still conducted the piece's première in Vienna in 1824. After the final chord of the composition had faded, thunderous applause broke out among the audience. Beethoven was unable to hear this, of course, and so remained seated with his back to them and his gaze firmly fixed on the score. In the end, one of his soloists turned him around so that he could see the public's elation.
The symphony is a mighty homage to humanity and to Beethoven's ideals of freedom and fraternity.The fourth movement of the piece is its most famous. It is the famous poem by Friedrich Schiller‚ An die Freude (Ode to Joy), set to music. Since 1985, a section of this movement has been adopted as the official anthem of the European Union.
Austrian composer Anton Webern (1883–1945) was also a pioneer of his time. He made use of the what is known as twelve-note composition and had a completely new way of looking at music. He also made a complete break with tonal music, as represented by the likes of Beethoven. Five Movements for String Quartet was one of his earliest works.
Another composer who, conversely, was very much inspired by Beethoven's music was Frenchman Hector Berlioz (1803–1869). In this performance, we will hear the Love Scene from Romeo & Juliet.
Anton Webern: Fem satser för stråkar
Hector Berlioz: Kärleksscenen ur Romeo & Julia
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symfoni nr 9
Conductor: Rumon Gamba
Soloists: Susanna Levonen, Elisabeth Jansson, David Danholt, Vazgen Ghazaryan
Medlemmar ur Oratoriekören
Follow-up discussion: directly after the concert