Importance of the 9th

Hailed as one of the most influential pieces in history, Beethoven’s 9th symphony continues to be a source of inspiration and hope for any who experiences it. NPR’s Christopher Gibbs wrote a wonderful article giving the reader a closer look at the importance of the work in the world of music, as well as in a global context. In the excerpt below, Gibbs discusses how the 9th has been used as a lightning rod to bring nations and diverse groups of people together for hope.

“…But composers were not the only ones to become deeply engaged with the Ninth, to struggle with its import and meaning. For more than a century, the work has surfaced at crucial times and places. As the ultimate “feel good” piece, the Ninth has been used at various openings of the Olympic Games, bringing all nations together in song. Its melody is the official anthem of the European Union. The Ninth has also appeared on many solemn occasions. Within recent memory, we may recall protestors playing the Ninth in Tiananmen Square in Beijing or German students doing so during the fall of the Berlin Wall. There were many performances in the wake of 9/11, when the Ninth was once again enlisted for its universal and hopeful message.”

For the full article, click HERE