Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125

    Description by Rovi Staff

    On May 7, 1824, Ludwig van Beethoven experienced what must certainly have been the greatest public triumph of his career. The audience which gathered at the Hoftheater adjacent to the Vienna Kärtnertor heard not only the abridged local premiere of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis (the Kyrie, Credo, and Gloria were given) and Op. 124 Overture, but also the first performance of the composer's 'Choral' Symphony. The event was a rousing success; indeed, one of the most moving accounts of Beethoven's final years describes how the profoundly deaf composer, unable to hear the colossal response of his admirers, had to be turned around by one of the soloists so that he could see the hundreds of clapping hands!

    Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 started life as two separate works -- a symphony with a choral finale, and a purely instrumental work in D minor. He labored on these sporadically for almost 10 years before finally deciding (in 1822) to combine the two ideas into one symphony, with Friedrich von Schiller's Ode an die freude (Ode to Joy) -- a text he had contemplated setting for a number of years -- as the finale.

    The finished work is of visionary scope and proportions, and represents the apogee of technical difficulty in its day. There are passages, notably a horn solo in the slow movement, which would have been almost impossible to play on the transitional valveless brass instruments of Beethoven's time. As Dennis Matthews writes: "As with other late-period works, there are places where the medium quivers under the weight of thought and emotion, where the deaf composer seemed to fight against, or reach beyond, instrumental and vocal limitations."

    The Ninth also personifies the musical duality that was to become the nineteenth century -- the conflict between the Classic and Romantic, the old and new. The radically different styles of Brahms and Liszt, for instance, both had their precedents in this work. On one hand, there was the search for a broader vocabulary (especially in terms of harmony and rhythm) within the eighteenth century framework; on the other, true Romanticism, embracing the imperfect, the unattainable, the personal and the extreme -- qualities that violate the very nature of Classicism. When viewed individually, the first three movements still have their roots distinctly in the eighteenth century, while the fourth -- rhapsodic, and imbued with poetic meaning -- seems to explode from that mold, drawing the entire work into the realm of program music, a defining concept of musical Romanticism.

    Beethoven's Ninth represents a fitting culmination to the composer's symphonic ouvre -- a body of work that is still unmatched in its scope and seminal ingenuity -- and remains a pillar of the modern symphonic repertoire.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro ma non troppo
    2. Molto vivace
    3. Adagio molto e cantabile
    4. Presto - Allegro assai
    5. Recitative - Allegro assai

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2021
    RCO Live
    RCO 19005
    2020
    Mirare
    MIR 534
    2020
    Pentatone / PentaTone Classics
    PTC 5186860
    2020
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2020
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMM 90243132
    2020
    Ondine
    ODE 13485Q
    2020
    Decca
    4850219
    2020
    SWR Music
    SWR 19525CD
    2019
    Solo Musica / Sony Music / Wiener Symphoniker
    WS 017
    2019
    Deutsche Grammophon
    B003111960
    2019
    Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler
    PH 18066
    2019
    BIS
    BIS 2451
    2019
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4837505
    2019
    BR Klassik
    BRK 900180
    2019
    Decca
    4834431
    2019
    Warner Classics
    9029539882
    2019
    Naxos
    8505251
    2018
    Edition Taschenphilharmonie
    ETP 010
    2018
    Bayer Records
    BR 200062
    2018
    Alpha
    380
    2018
    Sony Classical
    19075870962
    2018
    PentaTone Classics
    PTC 5186253
    2018
    Sony Classical
    88985458292
    2018
    Warner Classics
    2018
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2018
    Capriccio Records
    C 7275
    2018
    Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    4798418
    2018
    Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler
    PH 17015
    2017
    Warner Classics
    0190295886691
    2017
    Berlin Classics
    0300926 BC
    2017
    Tafelmusik Media
    TMK 1034CD
    2017
    Recursive Classics
    RC 2058306
    2017
    Decca
    2017
    BR Klassik
    900156
    2017
    Colorado Symphony Association
    CSACD 001
    2017
    Warner Classics
    0190295824600
    2017
    Accentus
    ACC 80322
    2017
    Nimbus Records
    NI 1713
    2017
    Orchid Classics
    ORC 100064
    2017
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4797477
    2017
    Warner Classics
    0190295886721
    2017
    Warner Classics
    561986
    2017
    Alpha
    476
    2016
    ABC Classics
    ABC 4812518
    2016
    ABC Classics
    2016
    Warner Classics
    554167
    2016
    MDG
    MDG 9371899
    2016
    Tafelmusik Media
    TMK 1030 CD
    2016
    ASO Media
    ASO 1007
    2016
    Tacet
    TACET 2194
    2016
    Warner Classics
    0190295975098
    2016
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4795977
    2016
    RCA Red Seal
    88875169792
    2016
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4796314
    2016
    Berliner Philharmoniker
    BPHR 160091
    2016
    Tacet
    TACET 974
    2016
    Westminster Choir College
    WCC 1610
    2015
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4795448
    2015
    Analekta
    AN 291505
    2015
    Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution
    88875112822
    2015
    Glossa
    GCDC 81120
    2015
    BR Klassik
    900139
    2015
    Sony Classical
    88875123912
    2015
    Andromeda
    ANDRCD 9079
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2014
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099999356521
    2014
    Warner Classics
    2564627829
    2014
    Archipel
    ARPCD 0556
    2014
    Warner Classics
    545117
    2014
    Warner Classics
    2564633735
    2014
    Audite
    AUDITE 95641
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2014
    Audite
    92641
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4810591
    2014
    Decca / Eloquence
    2014
    Philips / Universal
    4758147
    2014
    Urania
    WS 121178
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2014
    Various Artists
    ICA Classics
    ICAB 5132
    2014
    Warner Classics
    2564633618
    2014
    RCA Red Seal
    88843003502
    2014
    Andromeda
    ANDRCD 5061
    2014
    Various Artists
    Naïve
    V 5393
    2014
    Sony Classical
    88843045052
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2013
    Tahra
    TAH 752
    2013
    Various Artists
    Brilliant Classics
    94630
    2013
    Crystal Classics
    DELTA 80006
    2013
    Orfeo
    C 851121B
    2013
    Elatus
    46736
    2013
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMA 1951687
    2013
    Melodiya
    MELCD 1002014
    2013
    ABC Classics
    4810550
    2013
    SFS Media
    SFS 0055
    2013
    Teldec Classics
    383063
    2013
    BR Klassik
    900119
    2013
    Decca
    4785437
    2013
    Music & Arts
    CD 1276
    2013
    Oehms Classics
    OC 090
    2013
    Naxos
    8501204
    2013
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4791046
    2012
    Decca
    4783511
    2012
    Decca / Universal
    2012
    Brilliant Classics
    94289
    2012
    Challenge Classics / North Star Records
    CC 72550
    2012
    Haenssler / Hänssler Classic
    HAEN 93285
    2012
    Challenge Classics
    CC 72533
    2012
    Warner Classics
    2012
    Deutsche Grammophon / Universal
    2012
    Helicon Classics
    HEL 029651
    2012
    Archiv Produktion
    4790358
    2012
    Audite
    AUDITE 95620
    2012
    Archive / Decca / Deutsche Grammophon / Universal
    2012
    Decca
    4783497
    2012
    EMI Classics
    2012
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2012
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4783381
    2012
    Berlin Classics
    0300439 BC
    2012
    Teldec Classics International / Warner Classics / Warner Classics International
    61890
    2012
    Glossa
    GCDSA 921116
    2012
    Various Artists
    Naxos
    8501060
    2012
    Sony Classical
    88691919442
    2012
    Deutsche Grammophon
    002894770055
    2012
    Tahra
    TAH FURT 2012
    2012
    Roslin Records
    Rod 3710
    2012
    Concerto / Zebralution
    2012
    Andromeda
    ANDRCD 9093
    2011
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2011
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2011
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4779830
    2011
    Musical Concepts
    MC199
    2011
    Various Artists
    Brilliant Classics
    94052
    2011
    Naïve
    V 5258
    2011
    Warner Classics
    2011
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099909794
    2011
    Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2011
    Sony Classical
    88697927172
    2011
    Supraphon
    SU40512
    2011
    Music & Arts
    CD1252
    2011
    Warner Classics
    63779
    2011
    Nimbus Alliance
    NI 6146
    2011
    Decca
    2011
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099908517
    2011
    Berlin Classics
    0300068
    2011
    ICA Classics
    ICAC 5034
    2011
    Denon Records
    2011
    EMI Classics
    2011
    Avie
    AV 2245
    2011
    Signum Classics
    SIGCD 254
    2011
    Red Bus Classical
    RCLAS 006
    2011
    Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler
    PH11009
    2011
    Decca
    4804112
    2011
    Pentatone / PentaTone Classics
    PTC 5186312
    2011
    Newton Classics
    8802077
    2011
    Decca
    2011
    Decca
    4782721
    2011
    Dynamic
    CDS 706
    2011
    IDIS
    6615
    2011
    Membran
    233373
    2010
    Vox Allegretto
    ACD 8052
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    AAO Music
    2010
    Preiser Records / Tonkünstler Live
    90773
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    EMI Classics
    9659242
    2010
    Music & Arts
    12343
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    RCA Red Seal / RCA Victor
    88697576062
    2010
    Naïve
    V 5202
    2010
    PentaTone Classics
    5186317
    2010
    BR Klassik
    900108
    2010
    Digital
    2010
    Archiv Produktion / Deutsche Grammophon
    4778643
    2010
    Archiv Produktion
    477 864-3
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    Sony Classical
    8869768365
    2010
    Sony Music Distribution
    232779
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    RCA Red Seal
    88697757492
    2010
    Sony Classical
    8869770299
    2009
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4778167
    2009
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2009
    Various Artists
    Berlin Classics
    0149572
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Danacord
    683
    2009
    Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2009
    Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2009
    Audite
    23414
    2009
    Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Denon Records
    00795041945129
    2009
    London Philharmonic Orchestra / LPO
    26
    2009
    Warner Classics
    2009
    Various Artists
    Denon Records
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Guild Historical
    2344
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    EMI Classics
    2009
    EMI Classics
    2009
    EMI Classics
    64294
    2009
    EMI Classics
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Brilliant Classics
    93841
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Medici Masters
    031-2
    2009
    Guild
    2345/6
    2009
    Eloquence
    4800397
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Simax / Simax Classics
    1283
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    BIS
    1825/26
    2009
    Delta / Zebralution
    2009
    Delta / Zebralution
    2009
    Tahra
    677
    2009
    Documents / Membran
    232540
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4777578
    2008
    Berlin Classics
    0184442
    2008
    Various Artists
    Berlin Classics
    0184262
    2008
    Tahra / Tahra France
    2001
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4777513
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    459196
    2008
    GOP Great Opera Performances
    77402
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    002894777568
    2008
    ZYX Music
    10321
    2008
    Zig Zag Territoires
    80402
    2008
    American Bach Soloists
    5637204459
    2008
    Archipel
    0394
    2008
    Corona Classic Collection
    0000242CCC
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    457910
    2008
    Berlin Classics
    0014242BC
    2008
    EMI Classics
    5870062
    2008
    Melodiya
    1001114
    2008
    Archipel
    0401
    2008
    Guild Historical
    2343
    2008
    Allegro Corporation
    28210
    2008
    Orfeo
    729081
    2008
    EuroArts
    2072408
    2008
    Lyrichord
    6010
    2008
    EMI Classics
    2008
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099951586
    2008
    Col Legno
    60006
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4630882
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4775864
    2008
    ArtHaus Musik
    101457
    2008
    Telarc Distribution
    80731
    2008
    Universal Classics & Jazz
    2008
    Berlin Classics
    0184512
    2008
    Corona Records
    0002672CCC
    2008
    Brilliant
    93161
    2008
    Music Kids / Zebralution
    2008
    Various Artists
    Reflections / Reflections
    35500
    2008
    Phoenix Edition
    107
    2008
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099951203
    2007
    Music & Arts
    790
    2007
    Disques XXI
    1489
    2007
    Hungaroton
    41007
    2007
    Music & Arts
    1203
    2007
    Brilliant Classics
    93525
    2007
    Cascade Records
    2200
    2007
    EMI Classics
    367530
    2007
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4636262
    2007
    Ambroisie
    9993
    2007
    Rhino
    2007
    Universal Classics & Jazz
    2007
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4776690
    2007
    IMS
    2007
    EMI Music Distribution
    56842
    2007
    Deutsche Grammophon
    9661
    2007
    BBC Legends / BBC Music
    42092
    2007
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2007
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4776325
    2007
    Tuxedo Music
    TUXCD 1083
    2007
    Orfeo
    754081
    2007
    Decca
    2007
    Rhino
    2007
    Sony Music Distribution
    5185082
    2007
    EMI Classics
    3777672
    2007
    EMI Classics
    87739
    2007
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000966502
    2007
    Decca
    4759090
    2007
    Various Artists
    The Gift of Music
    GM180CD
    2007
    Berlin
    8403
    2007
    LPO
    99
    2007
    BBC Legends
    5001
    2007
    Berlin Classics
    0186002
    2007
    Hyperion
    44301
    2007
    Various Artists
    Brilliant
    93178
    2006
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication)
    41424
    2006
    Document
    224051
    2006
    LSO Live
    598
    2006
    Warner Music
    63779
    2006
    Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler
    6035
    2006
    Berlin Classics
    0185342
    2006
    RCA
    1748444
    2006
    Koss
    10003
    2006
    Oehms
    525
    2006
    BIS
    1616
    2006
    Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    2006
    LSO Live
    LSO 0592
    2006
    LSO
    92
    2006
    Universal
    2006
    Madacy
    52319
    2006
    Haenssler
    93140
    2006
    Music & Arts
    CD1191
    2006
    Music & Arts
    CD1182
    2006
    Warner Music
    63927
    2005
    Madacy
    2960
    2005
    Golden Melodram
    40075
    2005
    Orfeo
    669051
    2005
    Brilliant
    92766
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics
    7243476878
    2005
    Archipel
    0077
    2005
    Music & Arts
    MACD1166
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    Archipel
    0161
    2005
    Sony Classical
    94745
    2005
    Arte Nova
    654110
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    Opus KURA
    7003
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    Virgin Classics
    62490
    2005
    Pentatone Classics
    5186146
    2005
    Erato
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    Philips
    4756883
    2005
    Teldec / Warner Classics / Warner Music
    4618902
    2005
    Document
    221790
    2005
    Decca
    475 6090DC6
    2005
    Archipel
    0270
    2005
    Document
    223046
    2004
    Arts Music
    47700
    2004
    Music & Arts
    1144
    2004
    Brilliant
    99793
    2004
    Music & Arts
    1135
    2004
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4775005
    2004
    EMI Classics
    476750
    2004
    Sony Classical Essential Classics
    93011
    2004
    Philips
    000251636
    2004
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    7243585490
    2004
    BBC Legends / BBC Music
    41552
    2004
    Music & Arts
    1155
    2004
    Berlin Classics
    0183882
    2004
    Music & Arts
    1127
    2004
    High Definition Classics
    49
    2004
    ASV
    6069
    2004
    Testament
    1332
    2004
    Deutsche Grammophon
    474605
    2004
    Haenssler
    93142
    2004
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000218502
    2004
    PentaTone Classics
    5186159
    2004
    Naxos
    8508007
    2004
    Various Artists
    Brilliant
    92387
    2004
    EMI Music Distribution
    575751
    2004
    Resonance
    504
    2004
    Sony Music Distribution
    92480
    2004
    Philips
    4752722
    2004
    Laserlight
    40027
    2004
    Apex
    60457
    2004
    Music & Arts
    1146
    2004
    EMI Music Distribution
    62875
    2004
    Document
    221543
    2004
    Intersound
    5854
    2004
    Orfeo
    409048
    2003
    Capriccio Records
    50000
    2003
    Aura Classics
    0259
    2003
    EMI Classics
    57445
    2003
    Music & Arts
    1117
    2003
    Teldec
    092749768
    2003
    RCA
    89109
    2003
    Haenssler
    93089
    2003
    Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    2003
    Deutsche Grammophon
    474 260-2GX2
    2003
    Music & Arts
    CD-1119
    2003
    EMI Music Distribution
    57572
    2003
    Telarc Distribution
    80603
    2003
    Telarc Distribution
    60603
    2003
    Urania
    11903
    2003
    Haenssler
    93088
    2003
    BBC Legends / BBC Music
    41312
    2003
    Naxos
    8110863
    2003
    Deutsche Grammophon
    473846
    2003
    Classic Collection
    99869
    2003
    Apex
    4604562
    2003
    Opus KURA
    2040
    2003
    Apex
    0927495702
    2003
    Deutsche Grammophon
    1466
    2003
    Deutsche Grammophon
    474018
    2003
    RCA
    55702
    2003
    Sony Music Distribution
    87328
    2003
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000165536
    2003
    Delta Distribution
    40031
    2003
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    75477
    2003
    Platinum Disc
    2760
    2003
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    0183502BC
    2002
    Brilliant
    99927
    2002
    Urania
    URN 22222
    2002
    Sony Music Distribution
    87885
    2002
    Vox
    90115
    2002
    Archipel
    53
    2002
    Testament
    1287
    2002
    Deutsche Grammophon
    471 640-2GSA
    2002
    Classica d'Oro
    1051
    2002
    Delta Distribution
    14566
    2002
    Deutsche Grammophon
    471491
    2002
    Sony Classical
    89959
    2002
    D Classics
    70616
    2002
    Rca Red Seal
    90114
    2002
    Andante
    4988
    2002
    NM Classics
    97016
    2001
    RCA
    66656
    2001
    Erato / Virgin
    7243561943
    2001
    Harmonia Mundi
    2981687
    2001
    Classica d'Oro
    1022
    2001
    RCA
    68005
    2001
    Allegro Corporation
    1001
    2001
    St. Clair
    7344
    2001
    RCA
    89104
    2001
    Philips
    468112
    2001
    Classic Options
    3527
    2001
    Capriccio Records
    51036
    2001
    EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics
    7243567496
    2001
    Various Artists
    Legacy Entertainment
    CBX001
    2001
    Tahra
    1054-1057
    2001
    Music & Arts
    1065
    2001
    Disky
    70708
    2001
    Deutsche Grammophon
    469 262-2GP2
    2001
    Worldwide Success Records
    2017
    2001
    Lifestyles
    315024
    2001
    Azzurra Music
    039
    2000
    Tahra
    129/130/131
    2000
    Teldec
    28144
    2000
    Decca
    2000
    Deutsche Grammophon
    469000
    2000
    Urania
    159
    2000
    Unesco
    4706350
    2000
    Orfeo D'Or
    533001
    2000
    Amadis
    18501
    2000