Beethoven – Choral Fantasy – Grimaud, Piano

The Fantasy (Fantasia) for piano, vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra, Op. 80, usually called the Choral Fantasy, was composed in 1808 by Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven intended the Fantasy to serve as the concluding work for the benefit concert he put on for himself on 22 December 1808; the performers consisted of vocal soloists, chorus, an orchestra, and Beethoven himself as piano soloist. The Fantasy was designed to include all the participants in the program and thus unites all of these musical forces. The work is noted as a kind of forerunner to the later Ninth Symphony. – Hélène Grimaud

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