National Philharmonic: Freedom: Bernstein & Beethoven Part II
When the Reverend Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester Cathedral in Sussex, commissioned Leonard Bernstein to compose a choral piece for the cathedral’s 1965 music festival, he added that “many of us would be very delighted if there was a hint of West Side Story about the music.” This magical work, combining Biblical Hebrew verse with the choral traditions of the Christian church, was a resounding success from the moment of its sold out premiere on July 15, 1965, conducted by Bernstein himself.
Its companion piece in this second part of the Bernstein/Beethoven pairings is Beethoven’s monumental “Choral” Symphony No. 9. Bernstein conducted Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on Christmas Day 1989 in the “Ode to Freedom” concert celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall and making a universal declaration of faith in the power of freedom to unite humankind. On that special occasion, the chorus replaced the word “joy” with “freedom.”
Dates & Times
Plan Your Visit
North Bethesda, MD 20852