(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Illustration: CPR/Brad Turner)

Ludwig van Beethoven followed his percussive, brooding Fifth Symphony with an ode to nature. The piece bursts with idyllic passages, including sounds of a brook and a thunderstorm.

Yet Symphony No. 6 is more than a summer stroll. It shows off the composer's inventiveness, as well as his drive to write music that eclipsed the work of predecessors like Haydn and Handel. 

Watch a performance 

Watch Paavo Jarvi conduct the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen performing Beethoven's Sixth Symphony:

Paavo Jarvi conducts the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 6.

Must-hear recordings  

Some of CPR Classical's favorite recordings of Symphony No. 6:

Read more

Host Monika Vischer on Symphony No. 6:

Beethoven gave each movement a description:

  • Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside
  • Scene by the Brook;
  • Merry gathering of country folk
  • Thunder; Storm
  • Shepherd's song; cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm.

With his Sixth Symphony, Beethoven gave us a hymn to nature that set a new standard for those to come.

Read the full essay.

View all Beethoven 9 @ 9 content.

The Beethoven 9 @ 9 podcast offers an in-depth exploration of Ludwig van Beethoven's nine symphonies, featuring host Monika Vischer and Beethoven biographer Jan Swafford. Hear other episodes or subscribe to be notified when new installments are available.