CHICAGO-Music Director Riccardo Muti and the ChicagoSymphony Orchestra's September 2014 performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, which opened the CSO's 2014/15 season, will be available for free on-demand video streaming beginning May 7, 2015 at 11 a.m. Central time. The performance will be available for viewers worldwide at cso.org/Beethoven9, RiccardoMutiMusic.com, on the CSO's social media channels including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is recognized today as one of the pivotal works in the history of music by virtue of its humanistic message, its vast scale and organic unity of design and its groundbreaking "Ode to Joy" finale-a setting of Friedrich Schiller's hymn to universal brotherhood. Although its greatness was not widely understood in the years following the premiere in Vienna on May 7, 1824, it has eventually taken its place as a cultural symbol of rare importance. Like many of Beethoven's pioneering last works, the Ninth Symphony stands not only as a monument of its own time, but as a gateway to the music of the future.
"Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is such a sublime work that I only dared to conduct it for the first time after being on the podium for almost 20 years," remarked CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti. "To try to understand what is behind this sometimes metaphysical language is not easy, but we realize in the end that the message is universal."
The performance, recorded at Orchestra Hall in Chicago on September 18, 2014, features Riccardo Muti and the ChicagoSymphony Orchestra, the ChicagoSymphony Chorus, prepared by Chorus Director Duain Wolfe, and vocal soloists soprano Camilla Nylund, mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and bass-baritone Eric Owens.
Special support from an anonymous donor made it possible to share the 2014 CSO performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with nearly 2,000 individuals who might not have been able to attend, as well as with a worldwide audience via this free, on-demand video stream.