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It's both fitting and somewhat disconcerting that The Florida Orchestra has programmed Beethoven's mighty Symphony No. 9 during the Christmas holidays. The famous fourth movement has been both misappropriated for movies set at Christmastime (Die Hard) and reduced to a sales jingle; we prefer to remember the Ninth's inspiring use as background for group sex in A Clockwork Orange. The Ninth is a glorious masterpiece, starting almost mid-thought in the First Movement before bounding to its timpani-fueled scherzo Second Movement. Schiller's poem "An Die Freude (Ode to Joy)" (which begins "Freude, schöner Götterfunken") provides the text for the closing choral section, with the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay lending voice behind a quartet consisting of singers Laura Whalen, Jennifer Roderer, Thomas Studebaker and Thomas Potter; Stefan Sanderling conducts. 7:30 p.m., Sat., Dec. 17, Pasadena Community Church; 7:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17, Ruth Eckerd Hall; and 7:30 p.m. Mon., Dec. 18, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center; $15.50-$50.50, 800-662-7286, www.floridaorchestra.org.

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