CHORAL 7 – Beethoven & the symphony

Beethoven ended his 9th and last symphony [1824] with the human voice. His setting of Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy is a hybrid, a combination of choral symphony – complete with opening allegro, scherzo, slow movement and finale – and variation form.

But it’s not just the form that’s unusual, the content’s also a strangely mixed bag of ‘horror’ fanfares and fugues and – in the middle of it all – the arrival of a French Revolutionary wind band! A mess? Well, that’s the odd thing, it works!!

The score:

A particularly messy page from the first movement (poor copyists!!)

The tidier Beethoven: the beginning of the double fugue in the finale

… but, don’t worry, you won’t have to wade through the composer’s errant calligraphy if you want to follow the score. Here’s a much more legible version:

Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as “fair use”, for the purpose of study,
and critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.