Beethoven: The Pastoral Symphony
Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony is in many ways his most startlingly original symphony. It has a programmatic content, it is in five movements rather than the normal four, and its mood is quite different from the usual barnstorming image of the composer. Why did he want to compose such a work? Why did it take him five years to realise his vision? What was he hoping to communicate? How did he achieve it? Finally, how was the work received? In a fascinating account of this popular work, David Wyn Jones addresses all these vital questions. He places the work in the context of concert life in Vienna at the beginning of the nineteenth century and considers the long tradition of pastoral subject matter in music. His account of the music draws attention to those features of grammar, syntax and form that determine the unique character of the work, making reference to interesting aspects of the autograph and the sketches.