”Be embraced” by Beethoven’s nine symphonies in this concert series featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV) at Barcelona's Palau de la Musica. Enjoy here the third concert, featuring Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth!
“Woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear."– Ludwig van Beethoven
The Romanticists of the 19th century were fascinated by nature... by its fearsome power and its sublime beauty, its cruel indifference and its healing balm. The archetypal Romantic, Beethoven was very much one of their number. His intense passion for nature is evident throughout his writings and musical compositions, and his companion Fifth and Sixth Symphonies represent two extremely powerful yet strikingly contrasting musical realizations of this passion. Fittingly, the two works were premiered together in a famous marathon concert on December 22nd in 1808 at the Theater an der Wien, which also included the composer’s Fourth Piano Concerto, two movements from the Mass in C, the concert aria Ah! perfido, and his "Choral" Fantasy.
In the Fifth Symphony, Beethoven’s homage to nature appears in the use of an innovative musical “organicism”, with all four movements growing out of simple, almost primordial rhythmic figures introduced in the first few bars. The Sixth Symphony, in contrast, takes a decidedly more literal approach. Entitled “Pastoral Symphony, or Recollections of Country Life,” Beethoven paints a musical portrait of the countryside near Vienna, and gives each movement a descriptive title: I. “Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside,” II. “Scene by the brook,” III. “Merry gathering of country folk,” IV. “Thunder. Storm,” and finally, V. “Sheperd’s song; cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm.”
Photo: © Nohely Olivero Gerardo Gomez Fundamusical