Saturday, 14 May 2011

Ode To Joy

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ode to Joy
Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium..
..Thy magic reunites those
Whom stern custom has parted;
All men will become brothers
Under thy gentle wing.

Ode to Joy was written in 1785 by the German poet Friedrich Schiller, and guaranteed immortality in 1824 when it was set to music by Beethoven for the final movement of his Ninth Symphony, the Choral. The music has been used in as great a variety of contexts as can possibly be imagined. It was at one time Rhodesia's national anthem and has been the official European anthem since 1972; it was used in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and in the Die Hard movie franchise.

But perhaps one version of the piece stands above all others for its artistry, its emotional depth - its sheer lyricism. Here it is - my thanks to our friend Tom Pringle, in Edinburgh, for alerting me to this unforgettable video:

The soloist is Dr Bunsen Honeydew's able assistant, Beaker

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