IRVINE — A performance of the Ninth Symphony is always full of eagerness.
When is that massive choir in the back going to sing? When do the soloists come out? Is the third movement over?
Big questions, to be sure. But then, after some 45 minutes of waiting, it all happens.
And it's never a disappointment.
The Pacific Symphony's performance at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater of Ludwig Van Beethoven's magnum opus Saturday was as exciting and beautifully executed as I've ever heard live.
Guest conductor Robert Moody — of North Carolina's Winston-Salem Symphony and the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra — delivered a rousing interpretation of the Ninth that excited and delighted the thousands of attendees. They leapt to their feet at the concert's conclusion.
Beethoven's work represents the best of early 19th century Western music, if not the best of all Western music ever. All four movements of the Ninth do that, despite the epic scope of the finale that can seemingly drown all the greatness preceding it.