31 Aug 2019

NZSO Beethoven Festival: Interval interview

From Music Alive, 7:30 pm on 31 August 2019

Anthony Robin Schneider and Dr Karen Grylls talk to Clarissa Dunn about Beethoven's vocal writing in the ninth symphony.

Bass Anthony Robin Schneider

Bass Anthony Robin Schneider Photo: Andrew Bogard

It took Beethoven about 200 attempts and 30 years before he managed to make a setting for Schiller's 'Ode to Joy' that worked for him.

Even then he fretted that he’d made a mistake and considered replacing the entire movement with a purely instrumental one. His writing stretches the capabilities of the human voice, both for the chorus and for the soloists.

Karen Grylls

Karen Grylls Photo: Supplied

In the almost 200 years since then, 'Ode to Joy 'has become a universal anthem – for the EU, sports teams, and fall of the Berlin Wall.

Beethoven’s belief in music as a political force was lifelong and his interpretation of these words remains a beacon of hope.

Recorded 27 August 2019 by RNZ Concert

Producer: David McCaw