Beethoven’s 9th is feast for ears, mind
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Ludwig van Beethoven’s lush 9th symphony, performed at Bass Hall in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Southwestern Master Chorale and other Fort Worth choirs, April 16-18, educated the Southwestern music students and audience members in the development of classical music and a well-loved hymn.
Beethoven’s No. 9 in D Minor, OP 125, “Choral,” contains musical subjects that are said to be the inspiration for other composers and pieces, wrote Jane Vial Jaffe for the performance, including pieces from Wagner, Strauss and Mahler. Beethoven, likewise, took his inspiration from the poem An die Freude (Ode to Joy) by German poet and philosopher Friedrich Schiller.
A recognizable theme appeared in stages throughout the symphony, with the first two instrumental movements culminating into an explosion of nearly 250 voices for the third. It was this melody that was cultivated into the well-known hymn “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” by Edward Hodges and given new lyrics by Henry van Dyke during the 20th century.
The music director of the Fort Worth Symphony orchestra, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, said from the stage that he hoped he was leading at least one audience member in his or her first experience of the symphony, which he said was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The 72 Southwestern Master Chorale members performed with the Texas Christian University Choral Union, the Texas University Concert Chorale, and the University Christian Church Concert Chorale.
The Master Chorale and selected performers from the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will reunite next Friday for the Spring Concert at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, performing Requiem by Maurice Duruflé and Organ Concerto by Francis Poulenc.
The Spring Concert will take place on April 30 in Truett Auditorium on Southwestern’s campus at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the event is free.