Beethoven Awareness Month is in full swing at WQXR, and The Choral Mix is jumping on board. This week Kent Tritle devotes the Choral Mix to all things Beethoven. Among the masterworks heard this we, we hear Beethoven's brilliant Choral Fantasy.
In December 1808, Beethoven unveiled is monumental Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, on the same occasion as his Symphony No. 6 and the Mass in C Major were heard for the first time. In hopes of uniting all of the works at the end of this long evening, Beethoven composed his Choral Fantasy for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra.
Set in two movements, Beethoven uses the melody to which he set Friedrich Schiller's "Ode to Joy" in his masterpiece, the Ninth Symphony. Beethoven also recycled one of his own melodies, taking the tune of his Gegenliebe and making it the Choral Fantasy's main theme. We hear the work performed by the Westminster Choir and the New York Philharmonic, led by Leonard Bernstein with Rudolph Serkin at the piano.
Also on this weeks Beethovenathon, a portion of the Symphony No. 9, performed by Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with the legendary Jessye Norman, Mass in C Major performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and more.