Beethoven's famous Ninth Symphony put into dialogue with Richard Strauss' poignant musical testament Metamorphosen
‘Embrace each other now, you millions! This kiss is for the whole wide world!’, sings the chorus in the world-famous Ode to Joy after Friedrich Schiller, with which Ludwig van Beethoven crowns his monumental Ninth Symphony. Even if the idea of a humanity without hatred, violence and war is the ultimate utopia, Beethoven’s idealistic symphony continues to inspire and appeal to the imagination. The music embarks on a long journey, evoking the laborious search for happiness and freedom.
More than 120 years after the premiere of Beethoven’s groundbreaking symphony, the world was in ruins. ‘My beautiful Dresden, Weimar, Munich, everything gone’, wrote a devastated Richard Strauss in 1945 of the heavily bombed Germany. He promptly composed a poignant elegy about a lost ‘world of yesterday’, about the barbarism that had prevailed over German idealism. Metamorphosen for 23 strings is a gripping meditation on a world in transition and change, a heartfelt farewell to the romantic music tradition.