A lover of nature, Beethoven often found musical inspiration from his walks in the country. From the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony’s opening movement, titled ‘Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside’, he paints musical scenes of bubbling rivers and village life, carried by evocative strings melodies and colourful woodwind bird calls.
Berlioz was a great admirer of Beethoven, but he didn’t so much break the mould as throw it away and start again. The five movements of his Symphonie Fantastique tell a lurid tale of a very thinly-disguised ‘young artist’ delirious with the pain of unrequited love.
The object of his infatuation is represented by a theme that he hears everywhere – in the streets, at a glamorous ball, out in the fields.
Terrified that she will betray him, he tries to kill himself with opium, but instead finds himself in a hideous dream world where he witnesses his own execution.
RepertoireBeethoven: Symphony No.6 (Pastoral)
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