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Beethoven Choral Fantasy program notes and sheet music

Sheet Music and Program Notes:

This is one of my absolute favorite works. It is seldom performed partially because it requires so many musicians and is quite short in length. It is too short to program as a stand alone concert, and not appropriate to pair it with another choral-orchestral work like his ninth symphony. It uses 6 vocal soloists, a full choir, concert pianist and full orchestra.

In this work you will hear the Ode to Joy from his Choral Symphony No. 9. The piano solo is a brilliant and dynamic part that reflects the grandeur of Beethoven's music in it's finest.

Beethoven composed the Choral Fantasy in two weeks to end a concert that he had planned. In fact it was so close to the performance the orchestra did not have time to rehearse it.  Beethoven himself improvised the the solo that opens the work on the concert because he had time to finish it. 

Needless to say without rehearsal the orchestra fell apart and had to stop. Beethoven started the Fantasy again. The last piece Beethoven performed in public was also his Choral Fantasy.

Because of the melodic similarities, many people see this work as a preamble to the Ninth Symphony "Ode to Joy" which was written fifteen years later. 

The premier performance Dec 22, 1802.  It was a spectacle of grandure that netted him over $3,000.00 which was a lot of money in his day.  The concert featured both his 5th and 6th symphony, piano concerto 4, two movements from his Mass in c and a concert aria cluminating with the Choral Fantasy.  It was a whopping 4 hours in length.

The text ends with the words "When love and power unite, God's grace descends on all mankind."

    Choral Fantasy-op80      
    Requires SATB choir, orchestra, SSATB (6-vocal soloists), and a concert pianist.
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