Opening of the V Moscow Classical Music Festival Christmas Fest. Ode to Joy
The ode written by F. Schiller in 1785 for Dresden Masonic Lodge was set to music by different composers more than once. The finale of Beethoven's 9th Symphony is the most famous one. Also, there are other musical compositions to Schiller's verses. In 1865 P. Tchaikovsky composed cantata To Joy. The composition is interesting and undeservedly rarely performed.
The Ninth Symphony is the greatest composition by Beethoven which finalizes his twenty five-year symphonic way. It became a part of world culture history as one of the most significant creations which express humanistic freedom-loving ideals of humanity. Only symphony orchestra was not enough for Beethoven to realize his grandiose idea – he wanted to sing brotherhood of millions, brotherhood of all people of the world united by common burst of joy and freedom, that’s why he included chorus and soloists singing “Ode to Joy” by Schiller.
“Which conquest is equal to this one, which Bonaparte’s battle, which Austerlitz sun achieves glory of this superhuman effort, this victory, the most brilliant of ones gained by human spirit? – Romain Rolland wrote. – Poor creature, sick, lonely, embodied suffering whom the world denies joy, creates joy himself to give it to the world! He forges it from his sorrow as he expressed it in a proud phrase, finalizing his life and being the motto of each heroic soul: Through suffering to joy”.
The greatest triumph accompanied the premiere of the symphony on May 7, 1824. It was the moment of the creative genius's victory over physical weakness - in 1824 Beethoven became practically almost deaf, and one of the soloists had to turn the composer to the audience so that he saw how the audience was applauding him.