The performance was recorded by the CSO at the opening of its 2014-15 season, live from Orchestral Hall, Chicago on 18 September. Under the baton of music director Riccardo Muti, it featured the Chicago Symphony Chorus, with soprano Camilla Nylund, mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova, tenor Matthew Polenzani and bass-baritone Eric Owens as the soloists. This web-stream follows the success of the CSO’s previous live webcast of Verdi’s Requiem in 2013.
Despite being written when Beethoven was almost entirely deaf, his Symphony No. 9 has become one his best-known works and one of the most famous pieces of classical music ever written. It is often referred to as his ‘Choral Symphony’ because of the jubilant final movement, which includes a chorus and vocal soloists singing the words of Schiller’s Ode to Joy.
Muti describes taking on the challenge of such an iconic work: ‘Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is such a sublime work that I only dared to conduct it for the first time after being on the podium for almost 20 years. To try to understand what is behind this sometimes metaphysical language is not easy, but we realise in the end that the message is universal.’
From 7 May, the online stream will be available on demand to audiences here.
Click below to watch the trailers for the event: