Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony
Saturday 5:15 *followed by q&a*
(USA / 2012 / Directed by Kerry Candaele)
*IN PERSON: Co-producer Greg Mitchell
Come get inspired! Saturday April 5th in Woodstock…
From its thunderous percussion to the simplicity of its “Ode to Joy,” Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony has inspired awe for nearly two centuries. Hailed as “a battle cry for humanity,” Following the Ninth tells the stories of people whose lives have been transformed by the symphony.
In 1989, Chinese revolutionaries set up covert speakers in Tiananmen Square, playing the Ninth to drown out a speech by Premier Li Peng. The same year, Leonard Bernstein celebrated the deconstruction of the Berlin Wall with a performance he named the “Ode to Freedom.” Under Pinochet, dissidents claimed the ninth as a lullaby, using it to serenade Chilean political prisoners. And in Japan, mass choirs perform the symphony as part of an end-of-the-year custom of spiritual renewal. Traveling across 12 different countries, Candaele documents how the symphony has been used to liberate, to shield against suffering, and to provide hope and resilience during dark times. Each anecdote builds upon the next to capture the ineffable and transformative reach of this aural wonder.