Saturday, December 29, 2012

More Joy from Malin Hartelius

The MDR Radio Choir will perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on New Year’s Eve with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Choir under the leadership of Riccardo Chailly. Why do we care? The soprano soloist will be none other than Malin Hartelius, and Matthias Goerne will sing the bass part.

MDR Figaro radio will broadcast the concert live on December 31 at 17:00, Leipzig time, which by my calculation is 11:00 AM here in the Eastern United States. There is more information at the MDR website about the concert. Here, with the help of Bing and Google translating engines (and somewhat cleaned up by me) is a translation of the blurb from MDR Figaro:
 “Joy, beautiful spark of the gods” For music lovers, Beethoven's 9th Symphony is as the Christmas tree for Christmas Eve. Before the champagne corks popping, take the first rocket into the air and the new year is celebrated, the MDR RADIO CHOIR is the last time this year on stage. Under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, they sing along with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra Beethoven masterpiece.
Riccardo Chailly
"Joy, beautiful spark of the gods, Daughter of Elysium, We enter fire imbibed, Heavenly, thy sanctuary!" - With the "Ode to Joy" Beethoven and Schiller have created a true musical fireworks. Every year, millions of people kiss and celebrate just after midnight to these sounds.

Already at its first performance in 1824 Beethoven's 9th Symphony was celebrated with enthusiastic applause. The otherwise rather introverted Beethoven, whose deafness made him a sullen, taciturn, and often bad-tempered man, bundled all his emotions and hopes in this work. His last symphony showed a very different side of the musician, which spilled over immediately to his people as it does in our time. To this day, as a hymn to love, freedom, and brotherhood the symphony is heard at New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Europe adopted the euro in 1972, and this melody as its own anthem. So it is still one of the official symbols of the European Union, even if only as an instrumental version so as to not favor any European language.


  1. Now that's a can't miss concert! :oD Malin Hartelius really deserves to be a lot better known than she is... though she probably enjoys the career she has (I think I read an interview with her a few years back where she said she preferred to stay in Zurich to have a solid family life rather than a famous vagabond one. Paraphrasing, of course). :o) Will definitely try to catch this broadcast. Thanks so much for the alert! :o)

    Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season and a 2013 that's splendid in everyway! :oD

    1. Happy Holidays to you, too, Smorgy!

      I forgot to mention in my post, Chailly's wonderful recordings of all 9 Beethoven's symphonies with the Gewandhaus orchestra. He takes a modified HIP approach but with a full-sized, full-bodied orchestra sound. And the full set also includes overtures and incidental music to other works.

  2. Google Translate translated 1992 as 1972? Figures :-P

    1. LOL Good point. Actually that's a typo on the website. :)

  3. Well, it was a well-sung and energetic performance, unfortunately hampered by rather restricted broadcast sound (or was it my system?)

    The four soloists acquitted themselves quite well, and in addition, of course to Ms. Hartelius, I look forward to hearing more from the rest of them. Happy New Year!


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