Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven

Summary

'''Symphony No. 9 in D minor''', Op. 125 (also known as "the Choral"), is Ludwig van Beethoven's final complete symphony. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works in classical music.''Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (Cambridge Music Handbooks)'', Nicholas Cook, Cambridge University Press (24 June 1993), product description (blurb). ISBN 9780521399241. "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is acknowledged as one of the supreme masterpieces of the Western tradition. More than any other musical work it has become an international symbol of unity and affirmation." Among critics, it is almost universally considered Beethoven's greatest work, and many consider it one of the greatest compositions in the western musical canon.

The symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphonyBonds, Mark Evan, "Symphony: II. The 19th century", ''The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition'' (London: Macmillan, 2001), 29 vols. ISBN 0-333-60800-3, 24:837. (thus making it a choral symphony). The words are sung during the final movement by four vocal soloists and a chorus. They were taken from the "Ode to Joy", a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additions made by the composer. Today, it stands as one of the most played symphonies in the world.

In 2001, Beethoven's autograph score of the Ninth Symphony, held by the Berlin State Library, was added to the United Nations Memory of the World Programme Heritage list, becoming the first musical score so honoured.

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