Ode to Joy  

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"What is that I hear, that note of urgency of indignation, of spiritual hunger? Yes, it's Beethoven it's the sound of the European man once more reaching for something beyond his grasp. Oh freedom, freedom, come to us again. This cry has echoed through the all the countless revolutionary movements of the last century. They suffered from the most terrible of all illusions, they believed themselves to be virtuous, and in the end were destroyed by the evil beings they had brought into existence." --Civilisation (1969) by Kenneth Clark voice-over

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Ode to Joy" is an ode written in 1785 by German poet, playwright and historian, Friedrich Schiller, who was enthusiastically celebrating the brotherhood and unity of all mankind. Despite the lasting popularity of the ode, Schiller himself regarded it as a failure later in his life, going so far as calling it "detached from reality" and "of value maybe for us two, but not for the world, nor for the art of poetry" in a letter to his long-time friend and patron Körner (whose friendship had originally inspired him to write the ode) that he wrote in the year 1800.

To the extent the foregoing account is true, it may be due to Schiller's having changed a key word out of fear. "Leonard Bernstein reminded his audiences, the poem was originally an 'Ode to Freedom' and the word 'Joy' (Freude instead of Freiheit, added to the third pillar, Freundschaft) came as a substitute for the more overtly political theme."

The ode is best known for its musical setting by Ludwig van Beethoven in the final movement of his Ninth Symphony (completed in 1824), a choral symphony for orchestra, four solo voices and choir.

The Beethoven setting was adopted as the Anthem of Europe by the Council of Europe in 1972 and the then European Community—since 1993 the European Union—in 1985; the tune was used for the national anthem of Rhodesia. It has been used in a number of other contexts: notably in The Beatles second film, HELP!, Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film A Clockwork Orange and in the Die Hard film franchise, as well as the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and subsequent remake, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo. In 1996, it became the theme song for Triple H in the World Wrestling Federation until early 1998. It is the basic melody for the hymn "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" as well as for the songs "A Song of Joy" by Miguel Ríos, and "Road to Joy" by Bright Eyes. Since 2005 it is the Copa Libertadores official anthem.Template:Citation needed

Other musical settings of the poem include:

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ode to Joy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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