Just in: Beethoven's Ninth meets the Eurostar

Just in: Beethoven's Ninth meets the Eurostar


norman lebrecht

October 28, 2011

Today at 1 pm, arriving passengers at St Pancras International will be greeted by a pop-up performance of the finale of Beethoven’s ninth symphony. Those with a few extra minutes to spare, are invited to join in the singing.

It’s part of a BBC Radio 3/BBC4 exploration of the symphonic genre. Has it ever been sung in a rail terminus before?

Performing details:

Simon Russell Beale, who presents the Symphony series which begins on BBC Four the following night, will host the ‘Pop-Up’ event inviting people passing through St Pancras International to come and join in the singing. Passengers will be serenaded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and massed choir, all led by the BBC SO Principal Guest Conductor David Robertson performing one of the greatest European anthems of all time – ‘Ode to Joy’. Ailish Tynan, Daniela Lehner, Allan Clayton and James Rutherford make up the quartet of soloists for this unique performance which heralds the most in-depth exploration of the Symphony ever undertaken by the BBC.


  • Tony says:

    Does no-one at BBC Radio 3 get the message? “Popup Singalong” Railway Station Beethoven 9 gimmickry and silly greasy morning shows are not what classical music lovers want, deserve or feel like paying for. They are lousy value for money considering the thirty odd million pound annual budget for Radio 3 which could and should be spent more wisely elsewhere by people with respect for music and for audiences.


  • Will says:

    I’d say you’re getting pretty good value from the BBC getting a free live broadcast every night on Radio 3…and anyway this isn’t aimed at existing classical music lovers but to entice some new people into being aware of and watching the programme.

  • Beethoven’s Ninth? If it’s at a railway station, surely it should be Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto?? (a la Brief Encounter).

  • Doug says:

    And not Honegger’s Pacific 231?
    Milhaud’s Le Train Bleu?

  • Laurence Glavin says:

    Honegger’s “Pacific 231”?

  • Nick Shadow says:

    …or Honegger’s Pacific 231…

  • PrincessofWails says:

    I heard about this; what was the passenger/commuter reaction? any photos? Final mvt B9 a screaming match for soloists & chorus – as well as a politically uneasy choice at best. What about the ‘Paul Temple’ theme music (having senior moment re. composer..)?