Bask in this all-Beethoven concert! Uniting piano, voices and orchestra, Ludvig van Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy is widely felt to be an early version of the “Ode to Joy” theme from the thrilling and magnificent Ninth Symphony. Pianist Josh Wright is featured in the opening and is later joined by vocal soloists and the Great Falls Symphonic Choir. Symphony No. 9 in D minor, also known as The Choral, is Beethoven’s final complete symphony and is almost universally considered by critics to be his greatest masterpiece. It is still one of the most performed symphonies in the world. Beethoven’s Ninth was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony. The words, taken from Friedrich Schiller’s 1785 poem Ode to Joy, are sung during the final movement by four vocal soloists and a chorus. At the 1824 premiere, the jubilant audience acclaimed Beethoven–who could not hear the applause–with five standing ovations, and with hands, hats, and handkerchiefs in the air!