Premiere the Ninth Symphony - Beethoven Cries

Beethoven premiered his Ninth Symphony on May 7, 1824 at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna.  Although his deafness did not allow him to conduct, Beethoven was on stage for the first time in twelve years.

Because he was facing the orchestra, he could not see the audience.  Intent on making sure the tempo was right, he was beating time - which he continued to do after the performance was over. 

Taking his arm, Caroline Unger (the alto soloist) turned Beethoven so he could see the audience's reaction.


Although he could not hear their roaring approval, Beethoven saw their clapping hands and smiling faces.  Bowing deeply to the premiere's concert-goers, he began to cry. 

Unfortunately, the concert did not produce the kind of income Beethoven had hoped for.  Thinking his secretary—Anton Schindler—had swindled him, Beethoven dismissed him. 

Karl, Ludwig's nephew, tried to take Schindler's place.  In the end, that proved to be an even-worse idea.

What are the English words for the soaring chorus in the last part of Beethoven’s 9th?  It’s all about joy!

    Joy, beautiful spark of divinity,
    Daughter from Elysium,
    We enter, burning with fervour,
    heavenly being, your sanctuary!
    Your magic brings together
    what custom has sternly divided.
    All men shall become brothers,
    wherever your gentle wings hover.

    Whoever has been lucky enough
    to become a friend to a friend,
    Whoever has found a beloved wife,
    let him join our songs of praise!
    Yes, and anyone who can call one soul
    his own on this earth!
    Any who cannot, let them slink away
    from this gathering in tears!

    Every creature drinks in joy
    at nature's breast;
    Good and Bad alike
    follow her trail of roses.
    She gives us kisses and wine,
    a true friend, even in death;
    Even the worm was given desire,
    and the cherub stands before God.

    Gladly, just as His suns hurtle
    through the glorious universe,
    So you, brothers, should run your course,
    joyfully, like a conquering hero.

    Be embraced, you millions!
    This kiss is for the whole world!
    Brothers, above the canopy of stars
    must dwell a loving father.
    Do you bow down before Him, you millions?
    Do you sense your Creator, o world?
    Seek Him above the canopy of stars!
    He must dwell beyond the stars.

And ... here are the original German words:

    Freude, schöner Götterfunken
    Tochter aus Elysium,
    Wir betreten feuertrunken,
    Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
    Deine Zauber binden wieder
    Was die Mode streng geteilt;
    Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
    Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

    Wem der große Wurf gelungen,
    Eines Freundes Freund zu sein;
    Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,
    Mische seinen Jubel ein!
    Ja, wer auch nur eine Seele
    Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!
    Und wer's nie gekonnt, der stehle
    Weinend sich aus diesem Bund!

    Freude trinken alle Wesen
    An den Brüsten der Natur;
    Alle Guten, alle Bösen
    Folgen ihrer Rosenspur.
    Küsse gab sie uns und Reben,
    Einen Freund, geprüft im Tod;
    Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben,
    Und der Cherub steht vor Gott.

    Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen
    Durch des Himmels prächt'gen Plan,
    Laufet, Brüder, eure Bahn,
    Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen.

    Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
    Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!
    Brüder, über'm Sternenzelt
    Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.
    Ihr stürzt nieder, Millionen?
    Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt?
    Such' ihn über'm Sternenzelt!
    Über Sternen muss er wohnen

Clip from “Beethoven,” a 2005 BBC television production, featuring Charles Hazlewood and starring Paul Rhys as Beethoven.

See, also:

Beethoven's 9th Symphony - Part 1

Beethoven's 9th Symphony - Part 2

Beethoven's 9th Symphony - Part 3

Beethoven's 9th Symphony - Part 4


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 19, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Apr 15, 2015

Media Credits

Clip from “Beethoven,” a 2005 BBC television production, featuring Charles Hazlewood and starring Paul Rhys as Beethoven.  Copyright, BBC, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the production.

Online, courtesy BBC Worldwide Channel at YouTube.

Ursula Macfarlane

Key Cast Members:

Paul Rhys
Ludwig van Beethoven

Jack Shepherd
Joseph Haydn

David Bamber
Prince Lichnowsky

Alice Eve 
Countess Giulietta Guicciardi

Nicholas Farrell
Stephan von Breuning

Tom Goodman-Hill
Anton Schindler

Gareth David-Lloyd
Older Karl

Casper Harvey
Young Karl

Sarah Hadland
Johanna van Beethoven

Christian Coulson
Archduke Rudolph

Charles Hazlewood
Himself - Presenter


In-text image depicts the Kärtnertortheater, where Beethoven’s 9th Symphony had its premiere; painting by Carl Wenzel Zajicek (1860-1923).


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"Premiere the Ninth Symphony - Beethoven Cries" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 19, 2013. Sep 18, 2018.
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