Beethoven, Choral Fantasy in C minor, Op. 80

The Choral Fantasy is generally held to be a preliminary study for the
9th Symphony, even though it was composed as early as 1808, namely 16 years
earlier. In the Choral Fantasy, Beethoven overcame confines and
conventions of both form and orchestration to show the pleasure he derived
from tonal experimentation. In contrast to the 9th Symphony, where his
composition was stimulated by Schiller's verse, Beethoven was not
particularly enthusiastic about the flowery kitsch of Christoph Kuffner's
poem. After the first four lines, we already well understand Beethoven's
express request for a different text. The piano solo with which the work
commences was probably extemporized by the composer at the premiere on
22 December 1808 in Vienna - the art of improvisation was expected of any
virtuoso musician of Beethoven's time. Leonard Bernstein conducts the
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wiener Jeunesse-Chor and pianist
Homero Francesch. The recording was produced in 1986.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Title: Beethoven, Choral Fantasy in C minor, Op. 80
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Soloist: Homero Francesch
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Chorus: Wiener Jeunesse-Chor
Video Director: Humphrey Burton
Genre: Concert
Length: 22 minutes
Cat.No.: A05500477
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The DVD is also released within the complete "Beethoven / Bernstein" DVD package which is available in selected stores worldwide and through Amazon or JPC.