Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 unleashed a wave of
democratization in Central and Eastern Europe that radically transformed
the world order. "I am experiencing a historical moment, incomparable with
others in my long, long life," commented Leonard Bernstein about the
breakthrough of freedom in the Communist world. In a typically grandiose
yet eloquent gesture, Bernstein spontaneously accepted an invitation to
conduct two performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony to celebrate this
freedom. Two concerts, held in each sction of the city that had been
divided for 28 years: one in West Berlin's Philharmonie on 23 December, the
other in East Berlin on 25 December 1989.
It was only fitting that East Germany's new-found freedom should be
celebrated with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The monumental work, perhaps
the world's most famous symphony, was inspired by Schiller's poem "Ode to
Joy," a passionate paean to freedom. For his two concerts, Bernstein
substituted the word "freedom" (Freiheit) for "joy" (Freude) to reflect
his personal message. "I'm sure that Beethoven would have given us his
blessing," added Mr. Bernstein.
Our recording was taped live in East Berlin on Christmas Day 1989. Adding
to the symbolism of the event, Bernstein conducted an orchestra and chorus
formed of musicians from the United States, Great Britain, France and the
Soviet Union - the four victorious World War II allies who were still
responsible for governing Berlin at the time: Joining members of the Bavarian Radio
Symphony Orchestra and Chorus were musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, the
New York Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Staatskapelle Dresden,
the Orchestra of Leningrad's Kirov Theater, as well as chorus members from
the East-Berlin Radio Chorus and the Children's Chorus of the Dresden
Philharmonic Orchestra. Equally international were the illustrious
vocalists in the final movement's "Ode to Joy," June Anderson, Sarah
Walker, Klaus König and Jan-Hendrik Rootering.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Title: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Soloist: June Anderson, Sarah Walker, Klaus König, Jan-Hendrik Rootering
Orchestra: Members of orchestras from Munich, New York, London, Paris and Leningrad
Chorus: Members of choruses from Munich, Berlin and Dresden
Video Director: Humphrey Burton
Genre: Concert
Length: 94 minutes
Cat.No.: A05007334
Gallery         DVD         

The DVD is also released within the DVD package "Leonard Bernstein - The Anniversary DVD Edition" as well as by Dreamlife in Japan which are available in selected stores worldwide and through Amazon or JPC.