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Ode to Joy (An die Freude)

By Z. Randall Stroope

SATB choir, one piano/four hands, optional percussion parts (SATB choir)
Composed by Z. Randall Stroope. Octavo. Alliance Music Publications #AMP 0475. Published by Alliance Music Publications (AN.AMP-0475).

Item Number: AN.AMP-0475



About the poet
Friedrich Schiller, a leading eighteenth century German dramatist, poet and literary theorist, wrote the primary text to this work. (Z. Randall Stroope augmented Schiller's text to meet the musical needs of this work.) Much of Schiller's work had revolutionary appeal among the young, and to that end, Schiller often found himself at odds with the military and civil authorities of the day. An die Freude has become his most famous work, if not by its sheer art, by its association with Ludwig van Beethoven in the final movement of the Ninth Symphony.

About the music
Ode to Joy (An die Freude) is a musical expression of the intense, unconfined outpouring of a satisfied life. It is a dance of a spirit at peace with itself and with the mundane and the divine. In this work, the first section is like unto a full-blown chorale - sonic fireworks in slow motion. Then, rhythm propels the second section into the identification of joy as the daughter of Elysium, the son of fire, the kiss of a heavenly god, and the sustainer of all living creatures. In its most intimate moment, the piece portrays joy as a healer of human loneliness, hopelessness, and prejudice. The piece finally returns full-circle to the nobility of the opening columns of sonority and ends with the affirmation of Freude as worthy of human endeavor.

This choral setting of the Ode to Joy text is dedicated to the memory of Hugh D. Sanders, whose life epitomized a yspirit at peace with itselfy and yet ample enough to share unselfishly with all who encountered his quiet smile. This rare quality inspired the composer to choose a text which describes joy and happiness as the true measure of success in a human life.

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  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 1

    Brookings, OR
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  • August 10, 2011 What a disappointment!

    I bought this thinking it was an arrangement of Beethoven's Ode to Joy. Not quite. It's a modern piece, mostly an English translation of Beethoven's words, but an entirely different melody. The online description mentioned nothing about this, and the vocal score was not visible. Nor was...

    there an opportunity to listen. My stupidity for ordering it. I wasted precious time and money.

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    11 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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