20 Musicians Recreate Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” By Linking Individually-Recorded Videos

The capabilities of technology never cease to amaze me. It’s not only what technology can do that’s amazing, but more specifically, how it benefits us and makes our lives easier. I think we can all appreciate technology even more with the Coronavirus crisis. With technological devices, these allow us to continue work from home, stay connected with loved ones and keep entertained, all while remaining quarantined in place.

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a Dutch group based in the Netherlands city of Rotterdam, recently got to experience the advantages of technology after they were unable to meet up in person to perform together.

As an alternative, the 20 orchestra members played their instruments to recreate “Symphony No. 9” by Beethoven from home using their own cameras. The musicians then sent their individual videos in, where an editor then pieced them together to make one video of the completed group performance. It was one big success!

Apart from including clips of members playing various instruments from brass horns to stringed instruments, an anonymous chorus sang the words of the German poem, An die Freude (Ode To Joy), by Friedrich Schiller, as the performance began to wrap up. The same poem is sung during Beethoven’s original version, which Beethoven himself chose to include within his classic.

The English translation of the German poem is as follows:

Glad, as his suns fly
Through the Heavens’ glorious plan,
Run, brothers, your race, Joyful,
as a hero to victory.
Be embraced, you millions!
This kiss for the whole world!

The individually-recorded performance was something that Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra has never done in the past.

“We’re adjusting to a new reality and we’ll have to find solutions in order to support each other. Creative forces help us,” they said in the description of their finalized YouTube-uploaded performance. “Let’s think outside of the box and use innovation to keep our connection and make it work, together. Because if we do it together, we’ll succeed.”

But if you ask me, they did an excellent job. There’s a first time for everything, and their first attempt was nothing short of spot-on.

Although it’s more work to produce, it would be neat to see more performances by other groups done in this manner. All I can say is, thank goodness for good video editors who can help make virtual performances during self-confinement happen!

Watch the Dutch members put on the Beethoven performance of a lifetime below. And if you have the time, please read our story on a high school choir who opted for the same video approach as Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra! They, too, did an incredible job.

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