WoO 95: Хор к Венскому Конгрессу

(Chor auf die verbündeten Fürsten für Chor und Orchester)
Время создания: сентябрь 1814 г.

BBC Singers
BBC Symphony Orchestra
дир. Andrew Davis

Beethoven composed the Chor auf die verbündeten Fürsten, ("Ihr weisen Gründer"), WoO 95, in August-September 1814 for the Congress of Vienna, setting a text by Carl Joseph Bernard (1780-1850). This was the first of several works Beethoven produced for Congress activities and was intended as a greeting for the visiting sovereigns. Bernard, later editor of the Wiener Zeiting, would become one of Beethoven's closet friends. The piece was first printed in 1888 as part of the Complete Edition of Beethoven's Works, published in Leipzig by Breitkopf & Härtel. It is often referred to by its first line of text, "Ihr weisen Gründer glücklicher Staaten" (You wise founders of happy nations).

Beethoven's Chor auf die verbündeten Fürsten (Chorus for the Allied Princes), is for four-voice mixed choir and an orchestra of paired winds, trumpet, timpani, and strings. Like other works composed for the Congress, particularly Der glorreicher Augenblick, Op. 136, Chor auf die verbündeten Fürsten is superficial and somewhat bombastic--a fawning patriotic piece meant to please and flatter. One writer, at least, has likened the piece to the finale of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. Indeed, the Chor auf die verbündeten Fürsten does move along with the same relentlessness as the finale of the Seventh, and they are both in A major, but there is none of the compositional wit and depth we find in the symphony.

Majestic fanfares and dotted rhythms comprise the instrumental introduction, marked forte from the start, to get everyone's attention. The chorus enters homorhythmically and remains so during the entire through-composed work in which small melodic fragments return occasionally, but no full reprise of a section occurs. Voice parts are generally doubled in the woodwinds and often in the upper strings as well, while the violas provide a harmonic backdrop consisting of dotted-rhythm arpeggios. A brief instrumental coda features a return of the opening arpeggios in the violins and of the opening melody, performed in the woodwinds. The piece is firmly in A major throughout.

(John Palmer, Rovi)