The Spanish city of Sabadell is the second largest in Catalonia, with beautiful streets where pedestrians like to leisurely linger. It’s not unlikely to see a musician or two either.
But when this one little girl dropped a few coins into a hat for a performing double bassist, the plaza-goers were soon treated to an epic performance.
He played a few bars of what seemed to be a familiar tune—but moments into the song, a cellist joined him. Then a bassoon player. Then a violinist and a violist.
Now they were really drawing a crowd.
It soon became clear what they were playing—an arrangement of the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony—better known as “Ode to Joy.”
A few bars more, and the impromptu ensemble grew to a 100-piece orchestra flash mob. With Rubén Gimeno at the helm, the Valles Symphony brought “joy” to passers by of all walks of life.
At the sudden chorus (“Ode to Joy”, a poem written by philosopher Friedrich Schiller, which was incorporated into Beethoven’s Choral Symphony), the plaza was brought to life and the sound captured everyone’s attention.
The event may have been sponsored—by Banco Sabadell celebrating 130 years (it had planned several collaborations with big names in the arts for the summer)—but the joy it brought to everyone listening, and the millions more who have seen the video—was sudden and wholly genuine.
Watch the moment unfold below: