‘Ode to Joy’ – from Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
The music which accompanies this video is an improvisation (our pianist, Jonathan, is making it up as he goes along!) using music which comes from the fourth and final movement of Beethoven’s 9th symphony.
A symphony is a large work for orchestra, and Beethoven’s 9th symphony was to be his last and greatest.
Roughly 47 mins into the piece, the orchestra first plays this famous tune softly and begins to gradually get louder and louder. Within 10 minutes a huge choir and group of opera singers has joined the orchestra, loudly singing the words ‘Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!’ (Joy, beautiful spark of Divinity, Daughter of Elysium, We enter, drunk with fire, Heavenly one, thy sanctuary!).
The tune is instantly recognisable and one of the most popular and joyful of all music!