Recorded live at the Berlin "Philharmonie" on New Year's Eve 1977, this rousing interpretation of Beethoven's most popular symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan weaves a rich tapestry of emotional contrasts. The Ninth is an affirmation of optimism and beauty, written when Beethoven was almost completely deaf. The final movement is considered by many to be the composer's crowning glory. It had been Beethoven's lifelong dream to set Schiller's "Ode to Joy" to music, for the poem put into words Beethoven's most impassioned desire: peace and brotherhood in the world. Giving eloquent voice to this plea are the world-renowned soloists Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Agnes Baltsa, René Kollo and José van Dam.