Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 in F major, "Pastoral" (1808)

Presentation Description
Composed in 1808 at the dawn of the Romantic era in music, Beethoven's Sixth Symphony is about the power of nature to heal and restore the human spirit. This presentation provides a detailed analysis of each of the symphony's five movements, as well as a few ideas about the reasons it remains a timeless piece of music.

Presentation Handout
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 in F major

General Information
  • Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony contains five movements providing five vignettes about nature. Beethoven gave a title to each movement, leaving no doubt that the music was more than an abstract development of musical motifs. In short, the symphony contains musical metaphors that can be described in words that go beyond the music itself.
  • Beethoven composed his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies simultaneously, completing both in 1808. In almost every way, the two symphonies are the opposite of each other and hardly seem to have come from the same composer.
  • Beethoven’s Sixth was first performed in Vienna on December 22, 1808, during a four-hour concert in a frigidly cold concert hall. The musicians had spent almost no time rehearsing, and their performance was reportedly substandard for a professional orchestra.
Online Articles
Daniel Barenboim conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

  • First Movement – 0:00
  • Second Movement – 10:51
  • Third Movement – 22:40
  • Fourth Movement – 28:29
  • Fifth Movement – 32:30
Nicholas Collon conducting the Aurora Orchestra

  • First Movement – 0:57
  • Second Movement – 12:14
  • Third Movement – 23:57
  • Fourth Movement – 28:39
  • Fifth Movement – 31:47
BEETHOVEN'S SIXTH ON SPOTIFY (Three Versions)
Karl B
öhm conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker (1971)
Otto Klemperrer conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra
(1957)
Giovanni Antonini conducting Kammerorchester Basel (2010)


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