BBC plays out a farewell Ode to Joy

BBC plays out a farewell Ode to Joy


norman lebrecht

January 30, 2020

Unnoticed by politicians and almost the entire British public, the BBC will be broadcasting Beethoven’s Ode to Joy tonight, on the eve of Brexit.

Not political? Of course not.

Details here.

They’ve just had a last-minute change of soprano.


  • De Shaun says:

    Go #brEXIT!!!

    How beautiful to see the people’s VOTES finally upheld.

  • Rob says:

    Brexit is the biggest load of scaremongering, paranoid crap you’ve ever come across. Almost as bad as the biggest lie in history, that one beginning with R and ending in N.

    • De Shaun says:

      attached to anything.

      We know.

      So glad the will of the voters shall be implemented in the next exciting few hours!

    • Greg Bottini says:


    • Wesley says:

      Oh dear – not coping with it too well? Never mind, I’m sure a massive political movement will rise from the ashes to rejoin the EU. After all, all the UK will have to do is (i) adopt the Euro; (ii) pay the billions we “owe” by way of contributions, i.e. what we would have paid had we remained these past years; (iii) accept Directives that neuter the City as a global financial hub; (iv) re-destroy the UK fishing industry; (v) re-admit thousands of unskilled people who will undercut UK wages; (vi) hand control of the UK back to all those left-wing, metropolitan loons who don’t give a stuff about anyone who lives outside of London. Good. Luck. With. That.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Re-joining would not require Britain to join the Euro or pay the lost contributions.

        At the moment Britain has promised to keep paying its financial contributions and to accept the EU rules (being in means Britain can veto them). Britain has promised to allow EU boats to fish in its waters (in any case, British people don’t eat those fish, and fishing employs very few people). In return, Britain gets access to the EU market.

    • V.Lind says:


  • Operafan says:

    Lovely story, but it was programmed before Brexit was known to be on this date.

  • Alexander says:

    next “a Beethoven a day” ? this time keeps the UK away 😉

  • Anon says:

    Let’s be fair; in all likelihood this concert was programmed by Halle (in partnership with BBC Phil, who together present a Beethoven Symphony cycles in Manchester this year) some year(s) prior to anyone knowing the date of Brexit as being end Jan 2020. Coincidence.

  • engineers_unite says:

    Of course the UK is right to leave.

    It didn’t want to get held hostage to a load more years of Brussels unaccountable parasites, who bail in or bail out depending how much alcohol they downloaded (Juncker was famous for it), or the new stoopid woman about to take over now, was famously rewarded for failure to modernise the German army…

    That creep Verhofstedt and his million Euro Aston Martin racing while slagging the British off!

    Couldn’t happen to nicer people. eh?

    When you see the new “bail in”or “bail out” terms for rescuing Italian banks it will make Greece look like a drop in the ocean of debt and unemployment the EU is drowning in.

    Keeping British grandchildren national debt free, and control-freak-free has to be Bojo’s greatest priority.

    Draining the Euro swamp, all those virtue signalling sanctimonious “greenies” & lefties destroying German industry on the back of the non existent climate change scam, is the only way forward for the EU or die.

    • Dave says:

      We have plenty of our own parasites – the rich ones who will gain most from Brexit and give not a toss for those further down the food chain – or sleeping on the streets.

    • Stephen Diviani says:

      Could you calm down for one moment and remember that under the terms of our membership we were able to hold a referendum on our membership and we voted 52-48% to leave and very shortly we will have left. I fail to see how that equates in any way with our being held hostage by ‘Brussels unaccountable parasites’, as you so charmingly phrase it.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Britain has not really left since it still pays to the budget and accepts the rules, as well as free movement of people. Boris Johnson has nearly a year to negotiate what comes next. But maybe nothing will change.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    I have a feeling that Brexit will be relatively short lived. In a few years time the debate will be whether to rejoin the EU.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Well, if Britain votes for a non Tory government, then more-than-likely, a very close deal will be agreed with the EU which will mean Britain is part of the EU in all but name.

  • Mark Pemberton says:

    A total coincidence, of course. That concert was programmed two years ago, when we were still due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019.

  • This evening Chailly and the Orchetre de Paris are going to play the same thing.

  • Gustavo says:

    Again, this is the version to be remembered:

    All other attempts seem pathetic in the current political climate.

  • Stephen Diviani says:

    I have just finished reading ‘4,000 Lives’ by Clare Ungerson. A vivid and inspiring account of the Kitchener Camp, near the coastal town of Sandwich in Kent, where, in 1938/9, Jewish men rescued from the Nazi regime stayed, and remained until the fall of France when they were dispersed. It was an adult version of the Kindertransport, which saved the lives of ‘the other Jews’ who were largely ‘small merchants, intinerant [sic] traders, shopkeepers, tailors, artisans and industrial workers’ (pp.189/90). I had to stop reading the book on public transport because I kept crying. Reading it in the week that the UK, against the wishes of 48% of voters, leaves the EU certainly made its story more relevant than ever. I don’t mean that English nationalism is about to start killing people or introducing race laws, but let us not forget that this government removed from the EU Withdrawal Bill the clause on refugee children’s rights for family reunion in the UK, and went on to reject the amendment reinstating it, which was passed in the House of Lords and drafted by Lord Dubs, who arrived in the UK on the Kindertransport. For me, it illustrates a heartlessness at the core of all nationalist projects.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    And the great British composer Sir George Benjamin turns 60 today (31-Jan) on this most inauspicious of days

  • Dave says:

    So ironic this, given how much the BBC and its “balanced” coverage via such as the dubious (at best) Kuennsberg, Robinson, Humphrys and Neil has been an instrument in bringing this about. Tony Hall is right to resign; he should be ashamed of what the BBC has contributed to on his watch.

    • Stephen Diviani says:

      BBC bashing has been a pastime of both the left and the right for as far back as I can remember, and I can remember the ghastly Mary Whitehouse! In the last election the BBC’s coverage was condemned by both Johnson/Cummings and Jeremy Corbyn, which means they were getting it right. Anyway, history will judge what brought about such self-inflicted harm; although you don’t need to be a Marx or Popper to work out that Tory austerity had something to do with it.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        The causes of Brexit predate austerity, and it is absurd to blame it on the coalition government (don’t forget the Liberal Democrats were part of that government).