Let's make no mistake here; this is a commercial for Banco Sabadell. And, yes, it's a majestic, highly orchestrated flashmob organized by one of Spain's largest banking groups. But, when I get an evening email from our founder and host confessing to shedding "happy tears" when watching it, I figure I better check it out.

Flashmob organizado por Banco SabadellAnd, if you read the comments on YouTube, you'll see much more of the same sentiment being expressed.

On May 19th at six in the evening, what appeared to be a single, tuxedoed street performer playing a bass for people strolling around Plaça de Sant Roc in Sabadell, Spain (just north of Barcelona) turned into a mass ensemble performing a movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony — including more than 100 musicians and singers from the Orchestra Simfònica del Vallès, Amics de l’Òpera de Sabadell, Coral Belles Arts, and Cor Lieder Camera.

The production is lovely and highly produced, but it's the fascination and pure joy of the passersby that makes the moment quite magical. Non?

Share Your Reflection



That's Beethoven's Hymn of Joy which is the national anthem of the European Union. I wonder if this bank is in need of capitalization from the eurozone members.

Yes, "Ode to Joy", but a very astute comment, nonetheless.

This bank is a healthy one and does not need any capitalization.

Great way to start the day - thanks for sharing!

beautiful, whatever the origin...
It would be SO great to have so many more of these types of events...

Especially with classical music....the life has been strangled out of it, play it in the streets and live...!

Yes! Beethoven would have been as thrilled as the rest of us to experience this joyous production. Thanks.

The music is Beethoven's; the lyrics, Friedrich Schiller's "An die Freude." I'm sure both musician and poet would have been gratified.
I was listening for the key lines:

Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng verteilt,
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

I wonder what the translation is in Castilian… or Catalan…

Spain and Europe (heck---and the rest of this world!) need some Joy! and apparently there are moments---"orchestrated" or not. Keep on keeping on, people!

Ode to Joy moves me on each hearing and this was no exception. Whether spontaneous or highly produced those of us who heard deem it lovely and longing to visit.


WONDERFUL,,,, that was just wonderful to lissen to and watch. I really lifted my spirits this morning, thank you!

And a lot of very good musicians got jobs.

I am not at all surprised by the source of this delight. Krista Tippett has again succeeded in locatiing a wonderful point of spiritual light in her quest to view a better Life with all of us. THANK YOU, Ms. Krista, once again. ~ww

Magnificant. Pure joy.

Absolutely beautiful and very heart felt.

That little girl sure got her money's worth.

big bank or not, this was delightful, and the joy of the musicians was so apparent too...

I am so inspired sitting at my computer in Canada, Windsor, Ontario. What a beautiful gesture and so exciting to see and feel a part of it.

What an UPlifting and creative way to afford the Spaniards a moment to be JOYful! Gracias Banco Sabadell.

What a JOYful moment shared by all! Gracias - Beethoven, and Banco Sabadell; we all need more UPlifting moments like this!

Love this! The sheer joy of the experience is moving!

i could not understand my tears, yes they were "happy tears". a wonderful treat.

Beautiful...the joy of music is universal.

This is my all time favorite piece of music which always moves me to tears. I'm thrilled to have found it and have it saved for daily inspiration. Thank you....

What a great idea! Watched our symphony orchestra at the half shell in Boston yesterday for the 4th. I can only imagine what would be involved to have all those musicians come together like they have in this video. Amazing!

What a delight to see so many people of all ages enjoying good music.

WOW! How can anyone watch that without the tears flowing?

Magical. There needs to be much more music for the people and less violence brought to them. A triumphant moment.

Awesome! Thank you!

wonderful - thank you

This is for all the world to hear, enjoy and participate if you have the talent! WOW!

Pure unsullied joy! And the surprise and joy of the people around moved me to tears -especially the children


An Absolute Gift!

I need more of this and less of Syria and the rest of the evildoers of the world.

verry nice!

This evokes wonderful emotion. No words are needed.


Just what you would expect from On Being, marvelous, uplifting, delightful, nourishing to body and spirit.

I'm pretty new at this place and adore the design, could you let me know me where you bought this theme? You can contact me on my e-mail…looking forward to hear from you

so beautiful to see people caught up in the music and the joy...brought unexpected tears to my eyes...that's the way to do a commerical!


A thousand thanks, gracias, merci, arrigoto gozimus, grazie....I picture the world's children in the plaza being happy, united, "joyful" with the music! Thank you for uniting us through music of the masters....the joy was palpable! Can't wait to show my grandsons tomorrow!!!

This is the perfect example of a "teachable moment". Bravo! Those children enjoyed every moment of that concert. Bravo!

I saw it on You Tube, which did not identify the city. I figured from the architecture and the people that it had to be in Catalonia. Plus I suspected that Placa and Sant Roc were Catalan spellings, not Spanish, even though I do not know Spanish. That is a beautiful outdoors space.

Thanks be to God, for beautiful music and moments connecting people.

To the critics of Christianity, I ask, what would the world be like with Christian music, not mention Christian hospitals, orphanages, architecture? lr

The world would be empty, void, meaningless, and hopeless. Oh (ode!) to the One Who alone gives true Joy and beauty! To those who were watching this and did not understand your tears: the very cells of your being cry out in praise to the God Who created you! That is where your emotion comes from at moments like this!!!

Love it! Particularly love the way the audience felt enabled to join in singing, dancing and directing! A true Ode to Joy!


Stunning, I have tears in my eyes, my heart is pounding

Im an indian who has experienced a lot of classical music but I consider this song to be the greatest one i have heard in my life ...Beethoven is and will always be the best composer ever !!!

Over 40 years ago this was sung popularily by Miguel Rios (Spanish?)
Himno a la Alegria
Ven, canta, sueno cantando vive sonando el nuevo sol
En que los hombres volveran hacer hermanos.

In the same topic of so-called flashmobs, it is worth seeing the night gatherings of pots & pans banging on the street of Montreal not orchestrated for an ad but just out of a willingness to participate freely in a protest in a festive way.

Ahhh Bethoven the genious of magical emotions...how wonderfully presented... yes it too
broughts to my eyes :))

If more ads were as "joyful", they would certainly make more of an impact!

Well, God (or the universe, or just all us humans), knows that the banking industry could well use some elevated good will. The wonderful thing is that their ad agency knew enough to stay out of the way of the music. May the bank execs realize and ponder that they are making decisions not just for themselves and maybe a few stockholders, but also for all the generations represented in that last image of a child reaching for the sky from the father's arms.

Any way to bring live, beautiful and spontaneous music into the world is truly a wonderful and joyous event.

Happy tears indeed and shivers too. Joy, joy, joy!

W.O.W.! Music is an inspiring and soothing commonality for the human spirit.
Thank you for sharing.

Beautiful to hear and heartwarming to watch, ode to the arts!

This was amazing! It certainly shows the power of music.

absolument! surtout les enfants !

A beautiful human expression of what we aspire to be in love and joy!

great music-----watching people

All I can say is WOW~ It brought tears of joy to my eys

Even if it is a Bank that "put on" this commercial.........It is a majestic work of music that has lived on & WILL live on for another 250 years or more. Beethoven knew how to touch hearts.
I am a musician.
This video touched my heart.
Again, even if it is for a bank...the joy of music lives on & on & on & on......................................................................Thank goodness.

God has joy planned for us, if we can only stay out of His way. This is exuberant!

Wonderful...touching. A powerful fusion of music and serendipity...

The beauty of this music will always transform. It draws you in......how clever as an add.

Beautiful - made me smile the whole time and afterwards!!

When the violins joined in I got the chills.

Tears of joy!

I loved. I do not care how it came to be.

Very nice, I am glad I was sent this link.

Truly a wonderful experience, particularly for the children....

A picture of what it means to be part of something bigger than anu one part and all fof the glory of God. Well done.

Just lovely and so much fun. I especially liked the crowd interaction.

This reminded me that I do have a spirit after much troubled deliberation on the fact. Rejoice! We are alive!

a wonderful moment of letting joy wash over one's soul.

Sitting in my classroom listening to On Being, grading posters on American Ideals, and then I pressed on this link. I clapped out loud...which feels weirdly happy when one is alone in a public school on a Sunday morning. Thank you for sharing this with us. What an inspiration!

Love it, especially the children 'conducting'.

Yes! Their sheer exuberance and delight brings joy to all of us!

This is the kind of 'shock and awe' that the whole world needs! As always the response of the children (especially the little girl who started it all (!) with her donation.

What a heart delight, teary smiles!

I watch this at least once a week and am always inspired by it. The singers don't seem to be singing the German text--and I speak German--but their Spanish is difficult for me to understand despite having lived and traveled in numerous Spanish speaking countries. I would love someone to provide a translation. Be that as it may, I love the video.

Beautiful. Anyplace can become a sacred space as you just discussed on the radio. On the flipside have you seen the story about Joshua Bell playing Bach on violin in the subway and hardly one noticed or stopped to appreciate (too unexpected; sacred antennae turned off)..

I am a nonreligious person who disagrees with the radical atheists, disagrees with Sam Harris' title "The End of Faith." We urgently need more faith in ourselves, in others, in common purpose, in the power of our "Better Angels", in love being stronger than hate, in seeing "God" in others, including nonbelievers and nonpartisans as discussed on your important show with Rabbi Katz 2 weeks ago.


Oops Rabbi Sachs, sorry.

For as long as we have had art we have needed patrons. Thank you to the folks at the bank for this gift and for choosing to spend your marketing budget in an uplifting and human way.

Amazing how they can crowd control a mob that large.

Fascinating performarce. I love these flash mob productions. I've seen dance flash mobs which are also as exciting and wonderful to watch but this is the first musical ensemble flash mob I have seen and I find it inspiring and touching when you look at the reactions and the joyous pleasure shown by the onlookers, especially the children.

Oh my! This is the very best in the human community - creating moments of pure joy; and, I might add, tears!!
Thank you all!



Beautiful! One wonders how much of the world could be uplifted if performances such as these were done everywhere.

And with the Internet, it virtually has been! Many, many thanks.

Tears are the only "music" deep enough to express gratitude for this delight. Muchas gratias!!!

I was impressed with how much the little ones enjoyed it.
Such music is universal. Very well done.

Yet again we are seeing individuals realising that all are bonded together in a shared emotion. In this case a muscian began to draw out that bonding among a few individuals, and how beautiful to see the crowd grow and express that bonding. We would be so much richer if we could realise that we always share these bonds;that we always belong together. Sadly it is sometimes expressed in shared violence towards other. What a travesty of human nature that is.
This is a truly beatiful video. Thank you

lyrics or no lyrics, i never liked flashmobs. I guess because they are usually done by fruity artsy types.

if only all could sing the brothers Anthem---

I have watched this video over and over.... I absolutely adore this production!!! Very clever and very moving. Fantastic fun... A festival for the ears and the eyes!!!

Absolutely FAB, very different, very creative!!!

It is always refreshing to see and hear people willing to share their best with others. Cheers for this !


In these tense times, Beethoven's beautiful Ninth makes me weep with joy and hope.

Very moving, and the audience obviously enjoyed it enormously.

Thanks for that. Orchestrated or not, it was a lovely moment.

It was wonderful to see and hear.

just wonderfull


Love it

I loved watching the delight of the children. Perhaps this experience will remain with them, and hopefully some will become the future classical musicians / singers. The noises some modern singers make these days are as far from 'music' as I can imagine. Thank you Banco Sabadell for a very enjoyable 6+ minutes.

A thrilling discovery in late November'12 while browsing my iPad. Thank you.

I am sadden that public radio in Chicago no longer carries On Being! I've contacted them about it and was told that you didn't have an audience in Chicago. I don't believe that this is true. I used to set my alarm on Sun. morning for 6:45 am to make sure that I woke up in time to hear your show.

Fabulous! Sentiments too deep for words.
Thank you!!!

Wonderful. thank you.

This captures the joy of the season!! Beautiful :)

Sharing something as exhilarating as this is a true gift extraordinare for the season. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Jocelyn Mac Connell

The joy of the little children is inspiring! Moe commercials should be so joyful ... Maybe I'd watch them!

Magical, just my kind of thing. Was part of a flash mob this season and loved it.
Makes me feel alive.

Just imagine sending muscians armed with their instruments instead of soliers armed with guns...........

Music is magic! and this was particularly magical... thanks for sharing;-))

When I am asked by my young son, what is the purpose of music, I will show him this. It moves me.


very touching

i was sent a link to this video by

a relative, who got the link from another relative. i had just been telling them about my recent interest in the flashmob phenomenon, and my urge to join. (here in the u.s.) although the whole "scene" here seems to be loosely organized using the web, and i don't even own, or know how to operate, a smartphone, which seems to be required nowadays to co- ordinate events such as this. in "olden times", if your band practice was cancelled due to weather, you could dial the school, or listen to the radio for school closings. in the 1960's and 1970's, our version of flashmob was where a friend would call you on your home telephone, about a riot brewing downtown, you'd get in your bicycle, and in an hour, 3,000 kids would be running in the street throwing rocks at cops and being tear gassed. a slightly different and less- constructive type of mob that the one in this commercial! hopefully, modern kids will grow up believing that these are the only kinds of large organized gatherings, that ever went on, (musical performances, marriage proposals, etc.)

Inspiring. One of our most powerful expressions for world peace is found in the universal love a music. Thank you.

Brought tears of joy to my eyes - great talent and music touches the soul commercial or not the music is wonderful

wonderful experience. Nice to see banks sponsoring something we call all benefit from, contrary to big american banks!

That was Awesome! Commercial or not. Music is so powerful & beautiful. Who cares if this is a commercial.The beauty and power of music transcends above the hype.

beautiful, he writes through a veil of tears. ode to the children...

Watching the children respond to the music brings such joy! And my grandson absolutely LOVES it! Thank you.

It moves me to tears.

Sheer deliight and "PEACE TO ALL NATIONS"

No to "Non?" The local language is Catalan. "No" is "No" in Catalan, just as it is in Spanish; "Non" is French... Aside from that, your comment is right on. Who'd've thought that a bank commercial could bring tears to one's eyes? Very nicely done.

A wonderful and thrilling rendition of Ode to Joy. I have watched the performance of the Sabadell orchestra and have been totally carried away by the music and the orchestra members. They are first class !

At a very sad time for me,watching this gave me hope for the future, thank you all who took part xxx

Not only was this Marketing activity brilliantly orchestrated by Banco Sabadell but Beethoven's 9th was too. A joy to listen to and listen to again a and truly magical experience. It should be passed on to those who want to bring joy and happiness into their lives for 5 minutes.

Beethoven himself would shed tears upon watching this. Staged though it might have been, if those joyful kids were prompted, please do not disabuse me of my misapprehensions. And like my wife, it gets more beautiful with every gazing; I just enjoyed my umpteenth.

Agreed 100%

Agreed 100%


Only a year late!!
Utterly fantastic production of the old world master composer and musician.
We say fill the world with these marvelous productions and put an end to all conflict!

Blissfully excited and totally disgusted – at the same time.
I was intrigued by the beauty and pureness of it and of the high production level. Since Schiller and Beethoven were part of my socialisation and I love the european idea I was easy pray for water in the eye stuff. Yet I knew from the first second it was advertising and thats the downright sleazy part of it. Advertising shouldn't use politics. That is wrong on so many levels. Please Bankers, don't pretend to have ideals! Act like it. Don't get the next best filthy ad agency and dictate them, to do a picture perfect ripoff with a copy of the t-mobile adverts. That is just wrong on so many more levels. Anyone read Dantes Inferno? Where are the bankers? Where are the advertising creatives?

We need more, lots more, of these beautiful events to occur around the world because the world needs them so very much.

Bravo,hvala banci na ovom poklonu.

Amazing how music brings us all together.....and there are those who dare to suggest eliminating music in the school curriculum
as an unnecessary cost! The motivation to play an instrument doesn't star in adulthood!!!

All I can say is WONDERFUL !!!!

What a delight to find this on my face book page. It warmed my soul and brought joy to my heart. So glad to see this video continuing to move around the world.

"Flash mob" it was clearly not.

It was highly choreographed, even the little girl was an actor playing a part. That it was a TV commercial was obvious with the "product placement" in many of the earlier shots.

Having said that, it was truly a great performance and spectacle and "Ode to Joy" is a fantastic piece.

Si, I too shed "Happy Tears" for the beauty and joy of being alive!

Yes, it was sponsored by a bank. And it has paid off dividends of internal immortal currency of life affirming joy.

I loved this video even if it is highly produced. Ode to Joy always brings tears to my eyes but this is moving on so many other levels! I too would love to see more of this type of "flashmob" or spontaneous acts of art and kindness everywhere!!


If they are not going to feed the poor, Then I guess it is okay for banks to spend their money on the arts. :-)

Here is another version that is NOT an ad for any business or bank. Just as moving. The Odessa Philharmonic playing for peace and brotherhood.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwBizawuIDw

oh my goodness.

Most beautiful thing I have ever seen, especially looking at the joy on childrens faces. We need to see more of this

I was moved by this video. I did watch it couple of times and each time it brings its just overwhelming! But, I always had this question where did the girl who started it disappeared? She was right there next to the conductor till the last 10 odd seconds and by the end of it she was no where in the picture! Does that mean it is a commercial shooting that was shot over few takes at least! Only that can explain the disappearance of the girl. But that doesnt take away the beauty of the piece but am sad that like any other commercial this beauty might have been destroyed from 'from the heart' to the commercial studio managed staged'

Ode to Joy

I had been quite ill for close to a week when I clicked on the faction "...a little girl ...etc" and was surrounded, no immersed, in this glorious sound that reconciled me with life. Life has to be worth living when such beauty can suddenly spring up and make a desperate soul see beyond despair and believe in the human experience again. Tears are streaming down my face but from joy, not despair. The miraculous cure of music. Thank you, so much.

Have watched this twice and also another featuring Bolero. Flashmob seem to always bring out the joy of music better than being in a hall or theater. I love to see children waving their arms as if they are the conductor and leading the musicians on a might adventure. People, in some ways, are the same everywhere when they hear music in out of the ordinary places they become mesmerized by the music and if you notice you can't really know in which country you happen to be. Music is the soul of humans, it's just to bad we don't feel such joy all the time. Imagine our world full of happy smiling people with music.

You need to be less politically correct and much as a first time listener when you listen this music and band. Every musician in the past worked for a master (kings, queens, burgomasters and their mistresses). It was a strategy to stay alive for eternity of time. Thanks anyway.


Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
What lanuage is this?

if ever their was a need to pick up your spirits.... watch this... brilliant. Loved watching the genuine pleasure expressed by the regular folks in the Place ... from young to old ... everyone enjoyed. BRILLIANT

Absolutely brilliant, doesn't matter if it was staged or not. The power of the music is all that counts and that double bass really sets the tone with the orchestra putting the polish on the whole performance. Lost count of the number of times I have played it.

Beautiful, and watching the crowd, especially the children is such a joy.

Just beautiful to see at any time.