Flash Mob: Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' Takes Over Ukraine Market

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 11:24 AM

Members of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra and Odessa Opera Chorus perform music from Beethoven's 9th Symphony Members of the Odessa Philharmonic and Opera Chorus perform music from Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Youtube)

Saturday shopping at the Privoz Fish Market in Odessa, Ukraine is said to be an intense, bustling part of everyday life. The Odessa Philharmonic and Odessa Opera Chorus recently tried to elevate the experience for some shoppers by staging an "Ode to Joy” flash mob performance in the middle of the bazaar.

The "Ode to Joy," from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, also happens to be the anthem of the European Union. The musicians told a local newspaper that they wanted to make a statement about Ukrainian unity, so they selected this ode to unity and brotherhood. Hobart Earle is the conductor. Watch what happens:


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Comments [22]

Linda from NYC

Lovely...Another example of the transformative power of beautiful music, and open hearts.

Sep. 30 2014 12:50 PM
chrissy from SF, California USA

Beautiful, Awesome --- I wish that we could see more of this kind of flash mob all over the world. I had goose bumps when I watched and listen. Thank You it made my day just to watch.

Sep. 27 2014 01:04 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

People who have experienced tyranny and seek a better life will ultimately prevail despite the military might assembled to quell their protests. With the internet and all forms of communication available now to the general public even Adelsons and Kochs may lose not only their huge financial assets but their glamour to the unsophisticated and their [the Adelsons and Kochs] psyches may turn inward despondently. Nothing happens that does not ultimately inform new improved and updated measures and protocols. Schiller and Beethoven speak to the better natures of mankind !!!

Mar. 30 2014 08:02 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Baroom-Boom-boom for all the jokes. Unfortunately, Putin does not give a damn. He is a thug, through and through.

Mar. 28 2014 03:21 PM
magnetismus from rye brook, ny.

Recall "Potemkin"; the scene on the Odessa steps can"t hold a candle to this!!!

Mar. 28 2014 12:28 PM
Barry Owen Furrer

@ DuckDeadeye: I had always thought you can tune a piano but you can't tuna fish. If you look closely when replaying the video, I believe you'll see a sign for Porgy & Bass on sail. Forgive me as I begin to flounder.

Mar. 27 2014 07:13 PM

Truly inspirational. Thank you for posting, WQXR. Agreed, Bruce Harrison, this is more than an impromptu performance. It IS a heroic statement and a unifying episode. Oh, the power of music - may we all be reminded that we are more similar than different. I hope Putin & our int'l community were listening as well.

Mar. 27 2014 11:48 AM

@ Barry: It may just have been a fluke. But I'm sure they played and sang in tuna.


Mar. 26 2014 07:56 PM
Sofia from NY

Beethoven rocks!!!! Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! A wonderful message that is truly inspirational. I hope it goes viral.

Mar. 26 2014 07:53 PM
Rev Leslie from Long Island, NY


Mar. 26 2014 07:08 PM
Alexs Borisov from Odessa / Ukrain

I love my city !!!!!

Mar. 26 2014 05:09 PM
Rev Leslie from Long Island, NY


Mar. 26 2014 03:03 PM
Peter from Washington DC

Wonderful. Good luck, Odessa!

Mar. 26 2014 01:53 PM
laura from NYC


Mar. 26 2014 01:29 PM
Bruce Harrison from Boerne, Texas

This is a fantastic comment on the strength and ambitions of the Ukrainian people to pursue freedom and unity in their country. I am very fortunate and proud to know the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra and have met its musicians and can call their absolutely marvelous conductor, Hobart Earle, a very good friend. Hobart Earle is an American Citizen. He is doing more than anyone to promote an excellent image of America and its people. His talents and expertise are unequaled by anyone. This is more than an impromptu performance, it is a heroic statement and unifying episode by the orchestra and the people of Odessa and Ukraine in the face of tremendous political and military pressure. Good for them! I wish I had been there to see, hear and fully appreciate the performance and the shoppers'/audinece reaction.

Mar. 26 2014 12:43 PM
Nancy from USA

Lifted my heart and soul...

Mar. 26 2014 12:29 PM
Russell Bittner from Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

Stupendous. Simply stupendous.

Mar. 26 2014 11:39 AM
Hendrik E. Sadi from Yonkers, New York

I hope Mr. Putin heard this! Just great!

Mar. 26 2014 09:35 AM
Carmen Brito from México

Hermosa música, hermosas voces, hermoso ambiente.

Mar. 25 2014 10:13 PM
Linda from USA

Absolutely fabulous! Made me cry.

Mar. 25 2014 09:19 PM
Barry Owen Furrer

Perhaps the orchestra while performing for free played just for the halibut.

Mar. 25 2014 07:42 PM
Sanford Rothenberg from Brooklyn

This flash mob performance is reminiscent of the performance of Beethoven's Ninth following the fall of the Berlin Wall.Thankfully,in this version,nobody changed Schiller's immortal text.

Mar. 25 2014 02:13 PM

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