Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (In Five Minutes)
Composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Arranged by Judy Nishimura for Flute Choir
Published by Alry Publications
Duration: 5 minutes
Includes score and parts
4 C Flutes
Contrabass Flute (Opt.)
It is a daunting task to distill the essence of a great musical materpiece. Beethoven's 9th Symphony is a work that builds and develops for 70 minutes before its thunderous conclusion. What I've tried to do in 5 minutes is merely touch on the high points: the anticipatory opening theme (including my own foreshadowing hints of the ending), the roushing Scherzo, a tiny but beautiful bit of the slow movement, and of course, the “Ode to Joy,” which utilizes a good deal of Beethoven's original writing.
Although this is a piece that would work well with a larger flute choir, care must be taken in the molto vivace sections (m. 22 and m. 138) to be as light and precise as possible. Any dragging or rushing by even a couple of flutists will make it sound like mud. It may help to cut down the number of players on a part in just these sections.
After you've heard or performed this work, you won't have the feeling that you've experienced the entire piece, but you will have sampled some of Beethoven's genius and perhaps be inspired to re-visit one of the greatest symphonies ever written.
– Judy Nishimura