When Beethoven had received a commission from the Philharmonic Society in London, he composed his Ninth Symphony op. 125. For its choral finale, he chose a German poem by Schiller (An die Freude / To Joy), although he must have known that the first performance in England would be given in Italian. From the very beginning, this powerful work has become associated with the marking of international occasions.
Since February 2020 the Ninth Symphony is available as part of the new Beethoven Complete Edition in time for the anniversary commemorating the composer’s 250th birthday:
- Beethoven Werke, section I, vol. 5: Henle
- performance material: Breitkopf
Numerous aspects have been illuminated in this edition. New findings and source evaluations include the contrabassoon part which differs significantly from other editions and Beethoven’s text underlay which is now respected for the first-ever time. The editor gives insight into her research and will discuss in how far we can learn from the sources and about Beethoven who was preoccupied with his unique work for many years, from 1815 until shortly before his death in 1827.