classical music

WDR Live Broadcast Celebrates Beethoven’s 200th Year of the Ninth

Listen to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and its final movement, “Ode to Joy,” as it was originally performed.

WDR Live Broadcast Celebrates Beethoven 200th. Music Press Asia

Photo: Beethoven Haus

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of this iconic masterpiece, WDR broadcasted the jubilee concert live from the historic Stadthalle in Wuppertal, Germany.

Taking center stage is the Orchester Wiener Akademie under the direction of Martin Haselböck. The soloists are Chen Reiss (soprano), Sara Fulgoni (alto), Michael Schade (tenor), and Florian Boesch (bass).

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is a seminal work in the history of European music and thought. On a live broadcast on May 7, 2024, it was performed for the first time since 1824 with the same instrumentation, seating arrangement, and musical repertoire as Beethoven originally intended.

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Programme on 7 May 1824/2024

Ludwig van Beethoven: Die Weihe des Hauses (The Consecration of the House) Overture, Op. 124
Ludwig van Beethoven: Kyrie, Credo and Agnus Die from the Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125


Chen Reiss | Soprano
Sara Fulgoni | Alto
Michael Schade | Tenor
Florian Boesch | Bass
WDR Rundfunkchor
Orchester Wiener Akademie
Martin Haselböck | Conductor

Researchers have been able to reconstruct many facts about this concert on 7 May 1824: For example, the positioning of the choir in front of the orchestra, the possible instrumentation or the musical text.

It is noteworthy that the reception of the concert focuses mainly on the premiere of Beethoven’s last symphony, although a total of three late works by Beethoven were performed that evening.

Beethoven Symphony No.9 Facts. Music Press Asia

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the symphony, whose Joy melody is now the anthem of the EU, the complete concert of the premiere will be reproduced for the first time.

It is a remarkable new listening perspective and insight through the consecutively programmed works of the Overture op. 124, the Missa solemnis op. 123 and the Ninth Symphony op. 125.

Today, the concert is set at the Historische Stadthalle Wuppertal, one of Europe’s outstanding 19th-century concert halls.

Music Press Asia Book Club Recommends Beethoven Ninth Symphony Theodore Albrecht

To order this book, visit Boydell & Brewer official website here.

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Aesthetically and in terms of content, the reconstructed programme shows a variety of relationships and suggests that Beethoven wanted to appeal to the idea of Eternal Peace with the Academies. 200 years later, this appeal is more topical than ever.

The concert was livestreamed on DW’s Classical Music YouTube channel on 8 May, 2024. Click here to watch and listen.

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