Joy, a Shining Divine Spark

Beethoven's Ninth in the Original

1 May to 1 July 2024

On 7 May 1824, the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) had its world premiere at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna. To mark its 200th anniversary, the Theatermuseum, together with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz, is presenting the largest selection of particularly significant parts from Beethoven's autograph ever shown in Austria.

Joy, a Shining Divine Spark not only gives visitors the ‘holy shiver’ of standing in front of the original manuscript of one of the most famous works of Viennese Classicism, but also invites to explore the genesis of Beethoven’s iconic music creation.

The idea of setting Schiller's ‘Ode to Joy’ to music accompanied Beethoven throughout the 32 years he spent in Vienna from his arrival in 1793 until the premiere of the Ninth. The creation of no other of his works is associated with Vienna over such a long period of time. For the presentation, primarily passages from the final choral movement were chosen. Beethoven's autograph will be shown in the music room of Palais Lobkowitz, where Beethoven himself often performed. The Vienna Philharmonic take up this idea with a series of chamber music concerts in the Eroica Hall.

This presentation is realized in collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

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