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Random House, Inc. “All men become brothers . . . be embraced, ye millions!”
The Ninth Symphony, a symbol of freedom and joy, was Beethoven’s mightiest attempt to help humanity find its way from darkness to light, from chaos to peace. Yet the work was born in a repressive era. The premiere of this hymn to universal brotherhood took place in Vienna, the capital of a nation that Metternich was turning into the first modern police state.
The Ninth’s unveiling, on May 7, 1824, was the most significant artistic event of the year, and the work remains one of the most precedent-shattering and influential compositions in the history of music. But in The Ninth, eminent music historian Harvey Sachs demonstrates that Beethoven was not alone in his discontent with the state of the world.
Part biography, part history, part memoir, The Ninthbrilliantly explores the intricacies of Beethoven’s last symphony—how it brought forth the power of the individual while celebrating the collective spirit of humanity.