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Title: Listen to this 10,000-strong Japanese megachoir sing Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’
Source: [None]
URL Source: ... e-mega-choir-sings-ode-to-joy/
Published: Jan 27, 2023
Author: Sophia Alexandra Hall
Post Date: 2023-01-27 11:53:29 by Ada
Keywords: None
Views: 100
Comments: 5

Over a century ago, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony reached Japan in an unexpected way. Today, it’s one of their most celebrated pieces of repertoire, and there’s a very particular performance of it once a year we think you should see.

When Beethoven wrote his Ninth Symphony, he probably had no inkling of the worldwide phenomenon the triumphant choral climax of his work would become.

The final movement of his final symphony, or as it’s more commonly called, ‘Ode to Joy’, has its vocal libretto taken from a 1785 German poet Friedrich Schiller of the same name.

The choral work’s lyrics are often associated with messages of freedom, hope, and unity, and when sung by a large chorus to Beethoven’s simple stepwise melody, have great power and resonance across the world.

And no performance is arguably more powerful than that of a choir totalling over 10,000 singers.

In Japan, every December, ‘Ode to Joy’ is sung all across the country, but the most notable performance takes place once a year, when 10,000 singers join together to sing the German composer’s most famed vocal work.

A performance like this can’t accurately be described any other way, than by listening. Watch it below...

Click for Full Text!

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#1. To: Ada (#0)

Excellent! Thank you for posting this magnificent performance.

StraitGate  posted on  2023-01-27   20:20:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: StraitGate, neoconsnailed (#1)

Nothing wrong with cultural appropriation.

Did you note when and how the Japanese came to love the 9th?

AdaC  posted on  2023-01-27   22:30:59 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: AdaC (#2)

Did you note when and how the Japanese came to love the 9th?

No. What's the story?

StraitGate  posted on  2023-01-27   23:12:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: StraitGate (#3)

How Beethoven’s vocal work arrived in Japan is a solemn story which originates during the First World War.

During this war, Japan and Germany were enemies, and approximately 1,000 German soldiers were captured from the German-occupied Chinese island of Qingdao, and taken to a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in 1914.

Subsequently, ‘Ode to Joy’ is said to have arrived in Japan via these German prisoners, who would sing the Beethoven masterwork while being held in Naruto’s Bando War Camp.

By 1918, the war camp had taken on more prisoners. And in July of that year, one German prisoner of war led an orchestra (made up of mostly handmade instruments) of 45 prisoners, and an 80-strong all-male choir, in a performance of the Ninth.

News of this concert spread across Japan, and by 1925, the first known performance of the Ninth by Japanese musicians was performed by students at the predecessor of the Tokyo University of the Arts

Ada  posted on  2023-01-28   9:14:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Ada (#4)

Interesting. Thanks.

StraitGate  posted on  2023-01-28   9:40:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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