Over a century ago, Beethovens Ninth Symphony reached Japan in an unexpected way. Today, its one of their most celebrated pieces of repertoire, and theres 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 its more commonly called, Ode to Joy, has its vocal libretto taken from a 1785 German poet Friedrich Schiller of the same name.
The choral works lyrics are often associated with messages of freedom, hope, and unity, and when sung by a large chorus to Beethovens 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 composers most famed vocal work.
A performance like this cant accurately be described any other way, than by listening. Watch it below...
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