Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 6 & 7
»The yellowhammers up in the trees, the quails, cuckoos and nightingales all around me had a hand in the composition,« apparently said Beethoven to his first biographer Anton Schindler. The composer was talking about the »Scene by the Brook«, the second movement of his Sixth Symphony, which has the apt nickname »Pastoral«.
The concerts are part of a large-scale Beethoven Academy, created by Jordi Savall on the occasion of the 250th birthday of the composer. The orchestra consists of musicians from Le Concert des Nations and young talents who have worked on Beethoven's nine symphonies at the Academy.
To mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth in 2020, conductor Jordi Savall and the musicians of his orchestra Le Concert des Nations perform the »Pastoral«, which Berlioz saw as »Beethoven's most beautiful composition«, together with the Seventh Symphony, written a few years later.
Beethoven loved to walk in the countryside. He wrote in his diary: »I feel happy and full of bliss in the forest.« Woods, trees and rocks give »Man the response he wishes for«, he wrote to his friend Therese Malfatti.
Although the composer didn't want the music to be regarded as a tone painting, he gave the individual nature scenes of his »Pastoral« titles like »Merry Gathering of Country Folk«, »Scene by the Brook« and »Thunder, Storm«. Many contemporary scholars, however, see in the Sixth Symphony the beginnings of the programme music later composed by Berlioz, Mussorgsky, Smetana, Grieg or Richard Strauss.
Four years had passed after completion of the »Pastoral«, when Beethoven finished work on the seventh of his nine symphonies in 1813. The first performance, conducted by the composer himself, was given just a few weeks after the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig. In a letter to Goethe, the writer Bettina von Arnim said that when she heard the music she had had the feeling she »needed to ride ahead of the armies holding the flag aloft«.
Le Concert des Nations
conductor Jordi Savall
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sinfonie Nr. 6 F-Dur op. 68 »Pastorale«
Sinfonie Nr. 7 A-Dur op. 92
Estimated end time
17:20 / 21:20