Conducted by the Austrian violinist and conductor Thomas Zehetmair, Radio Kamer Filharmonie (Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic) and Groot Omroepkoor (Netherlands Radio Choir) perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (also known as “the Choral”). Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works of the repertoire of classical music. Among critics, it is almost universally considered to be among Beethoven’s greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written.
Soloists: Kelly God (soprano), Cécile van de Sant (mezzo-soprano), Gijs van der Linden (tenor) and Geert Smits (bass).
Recorded on April 12th, 2013 at Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn in Utrecht. Published by AVROTROS Klassiek.
Radio Kamer Filharmonie and Groot Omroepkoor
The Nederlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie (RKF) was a Dutch orchestra active from 2005 to 2013. It was based at the nl:Muziekcentrum van de Omroep (MCO) and performed concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. The orchestra was formed in 2005 as a merger of the nl:Radio Kamer Orkest and some of the players of the Radio Symfonie Orkest (itself an earlier merger of the nl:Omroep Orkest and the Promenade Orkest), though many of the functions and players of the RSO orchestra were instead merged into the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.
Jaap van Zweden was the RKF’s chief conductor from 2005 to 2010, and Michael Schønwandt was appointed chief conductor in 2011.
In July, 2013, the Dutch government announced a total cut in the RKF’s funding, and the orchestra gave its final performance at the Concertgebouw on July 14.
The Groot Omroepkoor (Netherlands Radio Choir) was established in 1945, bringing together a number of vocal ensembles that had ties with the public broadcasting corporations before World War II. From the outset it manifested itself as a highly versatile choral group with an extensive repertoire, moving seamlessly between works from various periods – from Renaissance and Baroque to contemporary music. The choir quickly gained repute as one of Europe’s largest professional choirs.
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony
The symphony is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven (17 December 1770-26 March 1827). It was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony (thus making it a choral symphony). The words are sung during the final movement by four vocal soloists and a chorus. They were taken from the “Ode to Joy”, a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additions made by the composer. Today, it stands as one of the most played symphonies in the world.
In 2002, Beethoven’s autograph score of the Ninth Symphony, held by the Berlin State Library, was added to the United Nations World Heritage List, becoming the first musical score to be so honored.
There are four movements:
- Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso.
- Scherzo: Molto vivace – Presto.
- Adagio molto e cantabile – Andante Moderato – Tempo Primo – Andante Moderato – Adagio – Lo Stesso Tempo.
- Presto; Allegro molto assai (Alla marcia); Andante maestoso; Allegro energico, sempre ben marcato.
Lyrics of the fourth movement
O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Sondern lasst uns angenehmere anstimmen,
Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
Wem der große Wurf gelungen,
Eines Freundes Freund zu sein;
Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,
Mische seinen Jubel ein!
Ja, wer auch nur eine Seele
Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!
Und wer’s nie gekonnt, der stehle
Weinend sich aus diesem Bund!
Freude trinken alle Wesen
An den Brüsten der Natur;
Alle Guten, alle Bösen
Folgen ihrer Rosenspur.
Küsse gab sie uns und Reben,
Einen Freund, geprüft im Tod;
Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben,
Und der Cherub steht vor Gott.
Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen
Durch des Himmels prächt’gen Plan,
Laufet, Brüder, eure Bahn,
Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen.
Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!
Brüder, über’m Sternenzelt
Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.
Ihr stürzt nieder, Millionen?
Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt?
Such’ ihn über’m Sternenzelt!
Über Sternen muss er wohnen.
Oh friends, not these sounds!
Let us instead strike up more pleasing
and more joyful ones!
Joy, beautiful spark of divinity,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, burning with fervour,
heavenly being, your sanctuary!
Your magic brings together
what fashion 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!
Every creature drinks in joy
at nature’s breast;
Good and Bad alike
follow her trail of roses.
She gives us kisses and wine,
a true friend, even in death;
Even the worm was given desire,
and the cherub stands before God.
Gladly, just as His suns hurtle
through the glorious universe,
So you, brothers, should run your course,
joyfully, like a conquering hero.
Be embraced, you millions!
This kiss is for the whole world!
Brothers, above the canopy of stars
must dwell a loving father.
Do you bow down before Him, you millions?
Do you sense your Creator, o world?
Seek Him above the canopy of stars!
He must dwell beyond the stars.