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Published on Apr 21, 2007
Leonard Bernstein conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in Beethoven's Ode to Joy. This is the final part of the piece, which contains the incredible Prestissimo Finale.
This portion of the movement begins with the contrapuntal union of the Ode to Joy and the Church Theme from the previous clip by the full chorus.
After the choral fugue, the soloists return in a lighter, more carefree rendition of the Ode to Joy theme (2:32). Seizing on their excitement, the chorus join the soloists in the song of joy (3:10). Soon, however, the chorus falls silent as the soloists reflect one final time on the divine inspiration for joy and brotherhood with heart-rendingly beautiful cadenzas (4:13).
These cadenzas lead us to the Prestissimo finale. After a silence and a quick crescendo of strings (5:18-5:27), the entire cast, every chorus member and every player down to the triangle, launches into the finale with guns blazing. After one more interruption by a gigantic, surreal Maestoso (6:14-6:37), the orchestra charges full speed ahead to the final cadence.