Beethoven’s Symphony no 6, in F major, opus 68, “Pastoral”‏

by richibi

symphonies are not my preferred musical form, they are
generally too broad, grand, impersonal, they are nevertheless
the other most impactful order of presentation among musical
instruments, along with the concerto
a symphony is a concerto without a soloist, or it might be more
appropriate to say that a concerto is a symphony accommodating
a soloist, or soloists, in either case the musical elements remain
the same, you don’t have a symphony without movements   
a symphony is also of course another name for that very orchestra,
just to confuse you
despite my indifference to that particular form of entertainment 
some symphonies are nevertheless still for me impressive, some
even meaningful, poignant, several of Beethoven’s, most of the
works of the transcendental Bruckner, Brahms’ magnificent Fourth,
most others you can keep, as far as I’m concerned, I need a firm
anchoring principle, not the amorphous peregrinations of an
unbridled, often cacophonous crowd 
those that I love however have touched me deeply, Beethoven’s 
Sixth for instance, wherein through its second movement a loved
one spoke to me unmistakably from heaven, there and then made
me believe in an afterlife and angels, I remember the day clearly
and cherish still that powerful metaphysical moment  
in the “Pastoral” Beethoven apotheosizes nature, the movements
themselves, of which there are an unconventional five, are named
after rural settings, like paintings
I imagine Beethoven channeling the idyllic Classical Fragonard, or
prefiguring the bucolic and more Romantic Constable, Beethoven
straddles triumphally both epochs 
you will hear the birds sing, the rippling of the brook, it is as fresh
as ever springtime, as profound and expansive as itself time
Beethoven here speaks as clearly as actual language, and thereby
suggests that music is indeed itself an expressive tongue, earlier
it had been, though moving and undeniably evocative, essentially
an entertainment, a courtly device, though often enough sublime,
see Haydn, Mozart
Beethoven is not courtly, he is bold, assured, and mighty, of a new
breed of colonizers of the new and exhilarating democracy, the
French Revolution had just happened and their aristocracy was
dead and gone, indeed guillotined, a new day had dawned for
the common people, the idea of human rights
Beethoven spoke to these as a prophet, Moses at a secular Mount,
declaring the ideals of the Age of Reason, of which we still carry
the torch, to the multitudes and to their ensuing spawn
Klemperer at first seemed slow to me, nearly tired, but little by
little established a mesmerizing solemnity
by the end of the piece I’d again been touched by heaven