Saturday, June 15, 2013

Freude Schoner Gotterfunken x 10,000

Rather than me quote all of Schiller's masterpiece, you can listen to it here, as sung by 10,000 Japanese.  Apparently an annual New Year's Eve community event in Osaka, something like this has been done every year for quite a long time.  They make everyone in the audience a part of the production.  Here's the scene from New Year's 2012 (gotten from this source):
The soloists are professionals, clear and very sharp, as are the orchestra and conductor.  Speaking of the conductor, at the end of the performance he looks like he's been through the war, and no wonder - any chorus of 10,000 will be hard to manage, even if comprised of professionals.  And these folks are amateurs, some old and some very young.  The chorus is a big, lurching, heaving beast, reliably a note behind the orchestra.  Such a dispersed group could hardly expect to stay together, and it hardly matters.  There's something deeply impressive about a performance where there is no audience.  And for this song, in particular.  No one is passive, all are singing about the universal effects of joy and amity.  There are no listeners, or rather everyone is a listener, and the small sing right along with the great and all are contented.

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