16 December 1892 cover

During the Chicago Orchestra‘s second season, music director Theodore Thomas programmed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the first time with his new ensemble. The performances were given on December 16 and 17, 1892, at the Auditorium Theatre.

According to an account in the Chicago Daily Tribune on December 18: “Mr. Thomas had his men play the last movement of the Symphony a full tone lower than it is written — a proceeding without precedent in the entire history of the great work and which bids fair to call down upon him the wrath of musical purists and classicists.  … The men of the orchestra covered themselves with glory by playing the movement with entire accuracy a tone lower than was indicated by the notes on the music parts before them …”

Read more: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony . . . in C minor?