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surprised by joy

girl lamppost
Photos courtesy of Som Sabadell

On May 19, 2012 at 6 p.m., a lone man in a tuxedo began playing his bass for the people strolling around Plaça de Sant Roc in Sabadell, Spain. A small crowd of onlookers gather, including a young girl, who puts money in the man’s hat.

Soon, another musician joins the bassist. Then another. And another. Before long the tiny street performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is transformed into a mass ensemble comprised of one hundred people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l’Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs.

This memorable “flashmob” performance was organized by Banco Sabadell to celebrate the 130th anniversary of their founding and “to pay homage” to the city of Sabadell, which is just north of Barcelona.

It’s easy to see why this video has gone viral. The majestic music and the delight and surprise on the faces of those present tap into the joy and humanity that resides in all of us, regardless of where we come from or what hardships we face.

As the French poet Alphonse de Lamartine wrote, “Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.” Enjoy.




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