World premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Vienna, Austria.
A page from Beethoven's manuscript of the 9th Symphony
The performance is conducted by Michael Umlauf under the composer's supervision. The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works of the Western classical repertoire. Among critics, it is universally considered to be among Beethoven's greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written. It has been adapted for use as the European Anthem. 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.
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable; following a comment by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow, he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the Three Bs.
Marshal Josip Broz Tito was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles from 1945 until his death in 1980. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, due to his successful economic and diplomatic policies, Tito was seen by most as a benevolent dictator, and was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad.
Niccolò Piccinni was an Italian composer of symphonies, sacred music, chamber music, and opera. Although he is somewhat obscure, even to music lovers today, Piccinni was one of the most popular composers of opera—particularly the Neapolitan opera buffa—of his day. Historically, he had the misfortune of falling between the generations of his great predecessors such as Pergolesi and the greats who came after him, including Domenico Cimarosa and Mozart.