Here is a piece that should be considered. I have listened to it over the years, especially in my down periods and it has never failed to give me an inner contentment. Just the joy of the music itself is incredible. I cannot but feel better when I hear it.

Friedrich von Schiller's Ode to Joy in Beethoven's setting for four soloists, chorus and orchestra has taken on a special meaning as a fanfare for peace, tolerance and liberty all over the world.

Beethoven's drafts for his opus 125 - the last in the cycle of symphonies - date back to the year 1815 or 1816. For decades he had been wanting to set Schiller's hymn to music, but it was only after the first three movements of the 9th Symphony were almost completed that he decided to compose a choral finale for the last movement based on parts of the poem.

In the conventions of the 1820s it was nothing less than revolutionary to end a symphony in this manner - and at just over an hour the work was also unusually long. At its first performance, in Vienna on May 7, 1824, the audience was typically enthusiastic, while the critics, as so often before, found the composer's unique ideas too novel and daring.

Beethoven himself could not hear the clamour and the shouts of 'Bravo', as he was completely deaf by this time.

Here is the Poem by Schiller

O friends, not these sounds!
Let us strike up something more
pleasant, full of gladness.

Joy, beautiful divine spark,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
O heavenly one, your holy shrine.
Your magic once again bonds together
What custom strictly divided,
All Mankind become brothers
Where your gentle wings hold sway.

He who has the great good fortune
To be friend to a friend,
He who has won a dear wife,
Let him mix his rejoicing with ours!
Yes--and whoever has but one soul
Somewhere in the world to call his own!
And he who cannot, let him steal away,
Weeping, out of this company.

Joy is drunk by every creature
From Nature's breast;
Every good one, every bad one
Follows her rosy pathway.
She gave us kisses, and wine,
And one friend, tried unto death;
Even to the worm ecstasy is given,
and the cherub stands before God.

Gladly, as his Suns fly through
The magnificent plan of the heavens,
Run, my brothers, your own course
Joyfully, like a hero off to conquest.

Joy, beautiful divine spark, etc.

Let me embrace you, O millions!
This kiss is for the whole world!
Brothers, above the starry firmament
A loving Father must surely dwell.
Do you fall down, O millions?
Are you aware of your Creator, world?
Seek Him above the starry firmament!
For above the stars He must dwell.