One of the greatest and most radical composers of all time. A tormented genius, who went deaf in later life and never heard his final works. His nine symphones are probably his greatest achievement, each one an unrivalved masterpiece, but he also wrote 5 piano concertos, piano sonatas, string quartets and one opera, Fidelio.
This famous melody comes from the final movement of Beethoven's "Choral" Symphony No.9 in d minor, Op.125. It is a setting for choir and orchestra of the German poet Schiller's 1785 poem An die Freude . The Ode to Joy was adopted as Europe's anthem by the Council of Europe in 1972.
The first lines read:
Oh friends, no more of these sad tones!
Let us rather raise our voices together
In more pleasant and joyful tones.