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Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 - Pastoral

Beethoven loved nature.  He loved walking through the countryside.  He enjoyed leaving the city for the country every summer (as he was able).  In 1810, after unsuccessfully courting Therese Malfatti, he sent her a "farewell" letter.  In it he wrote:

How delighted I will be to ramble for awhile through the bushes, woods, under trees, through grass, and around rocks. No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear.

In his Sixth Symphony, which Beethoven titled "Pastoral Symphony, or Recollections of Country Life" - known, today, simply as the Pastoral - the composer combined his love of nature with his love of musical composition.  The result?  One of Beethoven's most popular works.

In this interpretation, Herbert von Karajan conducts the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.  (Some students report it provides a wonderful backdrop for studying!)


Media Credits

Video - Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in its performance of Beethoven's Sixth Symphony.  Online, courtesy YouTube.

Quoted passage from Haydn, Mozart, & Beethoven: Studies in the Music of the Classical Period, edited by Sieghard Brandenburg, pg 254.

 

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