An die Freude | Hamburg Ballett

Beethoven Neunte Symphonie | An die Freude

Ballett by John Neumeier

Music by Ludwig van Beethoven

Production of Staatsoper Hamburg

Premiere: Wednesday, 5 May 2021, 7 pm

Performances: 6 & 7 May 2021, 7 pm


Heroic as the Third, portentous as the Fifth, life-affirming as the Seventh: these are only three of the components that belong in the Ninth. First sketches were written in 1815, the year following the final version of Fidelio, the year of Napoleon’s return and ultimate defeat near Waterloo, and the year in which the first edition of Friedrich Schiller’s complete works was published. But Beethoven did not return to work on the symphony until 1822. The first movement begins mysteriously, with an open fifth. Tension is in the air, and expectancy rises as retained wind tones build up. This prelude is punctuated by flickers and flashes from the strings: it is the first theme that explodes over the audience after the brief introduction. The audience is overwhelmed; the first movement may be far too long, but it is a work of exquisite compositional precision. Beethoven gives us no chance to draw breath, as the second movement follows immediately, maintaining the thematic focus: the partly warlike tone of the first movement has vanished, but the stealthily demonic character remains. The third movement is the long-awaited slow movement, the lull in the symphony. It offers us respite and we can enter a new world. The thematic variations have an almost hypnotic effect as they first grow louder, then softer. The fourth movement jerks us out of our dreams again, just as if it were calling us to battle with drums and trumpets. Initially, the cellos and double basses also sound more intimidating than anything else, before they softly, and with simple beauty, encourage the entire orchestra to follow their example. And then the chorus – sacrilege or clever device? – joins in with Friedrich Schiller’s famous Ode to Joy. This proclaims nothing less than universal brotherhood and equality, beyond all differences. The Ninth epitomises the idea of the anthem perhaps more than any other ever written. And the European Union chose this majestic music as its anthem – just the music, mark you! Because for all our brotherhood, agreement on the text proved impossible.


Choreography, Light & costume design

John Neumeier


Valentina Petraeva


Sofia Vinnik


Andrew Morstein


Ivan Zinoviev


Wiener KammerOrchester


Arnold Schoenberg Chor (Ltg. Erwin Ortner)


Tickets Buy tickets now


An die Freude | Hamburg Ballett

Theater an der Wien,Wien

Advance online booking starts on 02.09.2020 - 10:00 am

Date/Time Venue/Location Price Ticketlink
Wed, 05.05.20217:00 pmPremiere An die Freude
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060
Thu, 06.05.20217:00 pm An die Freude
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060
Fri, 07.05.20217:00 pm An die Freude
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060