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Beethoven 6 'Pastorale'

Brussels Philharmonic, Joolz Gale

‘Nobody loves the countryside as much as I do. That is certain; after all, forests, trees and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear,’ declared Beethoven in a letter from 1810.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, nicknamed ‘Pastoral’, is about the power and beauty of nature. Although Beethoven was ambivalent about ‘program music, concerning the Sixth Symphony — the Sinfonia pastorale: Recollection of Country Life — Beethoven’s own titles and programmatic indications were an integral part of the work’s genesis. They were publically declared at the premiere as well as in the published score. Beethoven said the Pastoral was ‘more expression of feeling than painting.’ This important statement was not some passing comment, but rather a defining principle of the work.

What makes this piece so special is that it is and remains a relief from everyday life, an expedition and escape into the countryside or the woods.

Brussels Philharmonic