Classical Music Celebrating Freedom

Because the overall subject of this website is seeking freedom from Nazi tyranny in WWII, I thought it would be appropriate to include some serious pieces of music celebrating freedom.  I will add more links to the list as they occur to me.  I welcome suggestions.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, 4th Movement, Schiller’s Ode to Joy (originally Ode to Freedom).  According to Wikipedia, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” has remained a protest anthem and a celebration of music. From demonstrators in Chile singing during demonstration(s) against the Pinochet dictatorship, (to the) Chinese student broadcast at Tiananmen Square, (and) the concert conducted by Leonard Bernstein at (the) fall of  (the) Berlin (Wall).”

Beethoven’s Egmont Overture – According to Wikipedia, Egmont celebrates the life and heroism of the Dutch nobleman, the Count of Egmont, in his opposition to Spanish tyranny over the Flemish.  Egmont was executed by the Spanish Duke of Alba.  In the Egmont Overture, Beethoven was expressing his opposition to Napoleon’s having crowned himself Emperor in 1804.  It later became the unofficial anthem of the Hungarian revolution of 1956.

Beethoven’s Fidelio.  Wikipedia describes Beethoven’s opera, Fidelio, as a “story of personal sacrifice, heroism and eventual triumph with its underlying struggle for liberty and justice mirroring contemporary movements in Europe.”  In it, Leonore, disguised as a prison guard named Fidelio, rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison.  The opera’s Prisoners’ Chorus “is an ode to freedom sung by a chorus of political prisoners.”

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – Wikipedia’s article on the 5th Symphony explains the significance of the opening four notes of the symphony and how it became identified with the Allied victory in WWII.   Click here for the article.

Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture


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