Sunday, December 17, 2017

NBC Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven’s Ninth (1948)

Beethoven’s “Choral”: The NBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arturo Toscanini [1867–1957], and members of the Collegiate Chorale together perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, opus 125, “Choral,” which Beethoven [1770–1827] completed in 1824 without the ability to hear his work. That he was able to compose such a beautiful and moving work with a loss of hearing is a testament to the man’s genius. Accompanying the orchestra are Anne McKnight (soprano); Jane Hobson (contralto); Erwin Dillon (tenor); and Norman Scott  (bass). This was telecast on April 3, 1948 from NBC Studio 8-H, in New York City.  The fourth movement contains the famous “Ode to Joy,” taken from  Friedrich Schiller’s poem of 1785. There is a lucid discussion on this wonderful symphony by Leonard Bernstein on the meaning of love, joy and peace, on King David’s Psalm 133: Hine ma tov u’ma-nayim. Deep thoughts, to be sure, but  ones that are easily accessible by all humans. And for all humans. This symphony binds us together.