Ok. So I was particularly excited for this not because it's some lucky number 9 whatsoever, but because for the very first time in my life.... I'll be witnessing a vocal/soprano performance in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra!!
The only times I'm exposed to vocal performances were during concerts and theatre/musical plays.
So yes, I was SUPER eager to watch this one despite not knowing much about what the Towering Ninth stood for.
The performance was on a Sunday 3PM and I had to struggle out of the house in this hazy weather to catch the performance all the way in town!
The haze was terrible!
Zingi was my partner to witness this performance.
No camera or any form of photography is allowed inside the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hence, no pictures to show you.
We were in for a pleasant surprise (or maybe it was just Zingi and I!) when out came a choir which consisted of about 40 - 50 people?
So, great, I thought! There's a choir too on top of the solo vocal performers.
These were the four main vocalists who were accompanied by the choir and the orchestra:
soprano: Susanne Bernhard
She was fantastic. I thought she hit every high note ON pitch
(having undergone numerous vocal classes myself, I do know how difficult it is to do so!)
One's ears has got to be really musically trained.
baritone: Detlef Roth
tenor: Dominik Wortig
mezzo-soprano: Katherine Rohrer
It wasn't until the 3/4 of the performance when the four vocalist and choir burst into a beautiful melody to the tune of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, also famously known as "Ode to Joy".... which tune I'm pretty sure you've heard of!
They sang in what sounded like German and the sound that came out was just simply beautiful.
It actually felt pretty Christmasy, and Zingi felt the same.
So I guess The Towering Ninth is a build up of all Beethoven's symphonies, ending with his 9th, which is also, his last symphony.
A little something from Wikipedia:
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (sometimes known simply as "the Choral"), is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works of the Western classical repertoire. Amongcritics, it is almost universally considered to be among Beethoven's greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written.
The symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony (thus making it a choral symphony). The words are sung during the final movement by four vocal soloists and a chorus. They were taken from the "Ode to Joy", a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additions made by the composer. Today, it stands as one of the most played symphonies in the world.
Me at the outer area of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra hall.
This gentleman who was part of a choir came up to me and asked for his picture to be taken with me.
He then proceeded to ask if I could speak French or Italian because of my eye colour (contact lenses) and because he can't really speak English.
The performance lasted for almost a good two hours.
It was truly a world class experience with minimal ticket cost =)
I'll sure be checking out the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra's website from time to time to secure tickets of performances I'll be interested in going.
You definitely should, too!