The perfect ode to joy...

An innovative arts project in Germany saw train passengers given a remarkable outdoor performance of Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' from over 100 musicians over 2.5km of track...

  The players had to bear the cold weather to take part in the project as the trains sped past!

Before European wide constraints imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic took stringent effect, more than 100 musicians joined with the players of Jena Brass Band BlechKLANG in Germany to take part in the innovative 'Moving Landscapes — Concerts for Passing Trains' arts project.

Tune in

Along a 2.5km route between the Thuringian cities of Jena and Weimar, the musicians performed parts of Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' on platforms and in the countryside near the railway lines, with train passengers able to tune-in via radios inside the carriages as they passed them by.

Brass Band BlechKLANG MD, Alexander Richter, had to take on the unfamiliar role of project co-ordinator — ensuring his band performed at just the right time as the trains sped past — 12 times in 1 hour.


He told 4BR: "The remote control aspect made the project very special — and difficult! After all, the audience had to hear the famous music exactly when their train was at the same place as the musicians. It was a fantastic idea and a fantastic experience!"

The initiative was the idea of two professors at the famous Bauhaus University in Weimar. Jörn Hintzer and Jakob Hüfner wanted to create a special concert where the audience consisted completely of train passengers.

More than 100 performers took part at various stations and high points — from the brass band to choirs and individual artists — each playing part of the 'Ode' so that it joined together to form a continuous melody as the train sped past over the 2.5kms.

More than 100 performers took part at various stations and high points — each playing part of the 'Ode' so that it joined together to form a continuous melody as the train sped past over the 2.5kms4BR

Put together

Each time a train approached, the musical puzzle was put together and transmitted into the interior of the carriages — a mixture of music and physics that worked perfectly.

Alexander added: "We are very proud that we were able to participate as a brass band in this pilot project, which is to be tried out on other stretches of track in Germany to give passengers a memorable musical and artistic experience.

We are always looking for exciting opportunities to introduce the typical brass band sound to a new audience — and this was a great way to do just that."

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