Riccardo Muti conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 — With the Vienna Philharmonic

Celebrating 200 years of the beloved "Choral" Symphony at the Vienna Musikverein

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Julia Kleiter — Soprano

Marianne Crebassa — Mezzo-soprano

Michael Spyres — Tenor

Günther Groissböck — Bass

Wiener Singverein

Vienna Philharmonic

Riccardo Muti — Conductor

Program notes

The open fifths that begin it leave an electric charge in the air, suggesting infinite sonic possibilities to come, and its first movement concludes with "slippery, chromatic bass and awesome moans above it," wrote Harold C. Schonberg: "That is the way the world ends." But after a dark Scherzo and serene Adagio, its fourth and final movement explodes into a jubilant apotheosis: the famous Ode to Joy, Schiller's "beautiful spark of divinity" (Freude, schöner Götterfunken) that gives us a taste of perfection. The Ninth Symphony was Beethoven's last, one more chance for an epochal genius to flout convention and create something without precedent. For the 200th anniversary of a work that may occupy classical music's highest pedestal, we bring you an exultant, spirit-lifting rendition by one of the world's greatest orchestras (the Vienna Philharmonic), led by one of the world's greatest conductors (Riccardo Muti) at one of the world's most storied venues (the Musikverein), alongside top-notch soloists Julia Kleiter, Marianne Crebassa, Michael Spyres, and Günther Groissböck with the always excellent Wiener Singverein.

Photo © Todd Rosenberg

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