The final symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven, premiered in Vienna in 1824, is an iconic and essential work in western musical history. Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy in the final movement has been taken up as a statement of universal brotherhood by nations and political organisations, including the EU, who adopted it as its official anthem. It is, therefore, one of the most contested pieces of music ever written, with rival and sometimes ideologically opposed institutions claiming it as their own. Beethoven’s revolutionary ideas and conflicted art are important perspectives on this year’s Ultima festival, drawing attention to the past in the present, the political implications of musical ideas and context.
Vasily Petrenko – conductor
Sarah Fox – soprano
Tone Kummervold – mezzo soprano
Dmitri Pittas – tenor
Carsten Stabell – bass
Produced by Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.