We're experiencing the end of the year in advance! And performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, traditionally a work for the turn of the year, already at the beginning of December – what’s more, the day after Monteverdi's Christmas Vespers. Because in the Ninth as well, the secular and spiritual merge into each other: we need only call to mind the religious feeling of the Adagio and the work’s hymn-like final choruses. Speaking of choruses: Beethoven's Ninth brings us back to conductor Philippe Herreweghe, who already performed Brahms and Schumann with Patricia Kopatchinskaja in May. Herreweghe originally hails from the field of choir and singing – and so is exactly the man to make Beethoven's hellishly difficult singing parts resound with heavenly lightness.