The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (sometimes known simply as “the Choral”), is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827).
Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works of the repertoire of classical music. Among critics, it is almost universally considered to be among Beethoven’s greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written.
The symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony(thus making it a choral symphony). The words are sung during the final movement by four vocal soloists and a chorus. They were taken from the “Ode to Joy”, a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additions made by the composer. Today, it stands as one of the most played symphonies in the world.
In 2002, Beethoven’s autograph score of the Ninth Symphony, held by the Berlin State Library, was added to the United Nations World Heritage List, becoming the first musical score to be so honored.