On May 16 and 17, two Capitol Hill ensembles, totaling over 100 musicians, join forces to perform Beethoven’s monumental 9th Symphony, Opus 125, “Choral”. The performances by the 80-voice Capitol Hill Chorale and the 55-member Capitol City Symphony will be at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, 4th and Independence, SE on Saturday night at 7:00 PM and at the Atlas Performing Arts Theater, 1333 H Street, N.E., on Sunday afternoon at 5:00 PM.
Also on the program will be Mozart’s Misericordias Domini, K.222.
This is the second collaboration for these two groups. In June 2007, they joined to gave two performances of the Alexander Nevsky Cantata, by Sergei Prokofiev, based on the composer’s score for the film. Those performances whetted the appetite of both organizations for more joint projects.
The Beethoven Ninth Symphony is one of the monuments of Western music. Beethoven uses text from the poem, An die Freude, by the German poet Friedrich Schiller, in the final movement, to be sung by soloists and chorus. Schiller’s poem celebrates the unity and brotherhood of man, of which the symphony has become a widely recognized expression. The symphony is familiar to many because of the performance conducted by Leonard Bernstein in 1989 in Berlin marking the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event was televised throughout Germany and in 20 other countries. Bernstein substituted the word ''freedom'' for ''joy'' in the chorus to reflect the unique circumstances of the performance.