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:
Some of CPR Classical's favorite recordings of Symphony No. 6:
- Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; Riccardo Chailly, conductor
- Revolutionary and Romantic Orchestra; John Eliot Gardiner, conductor
- Minnesota Orchestra; Osmo Vanska, conductor
- Philadelphia Orchestra; Riccardo Muti, conductor
- Berlin Philharmonic; Herbert von Karajan, conductor
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.
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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.