Beethoven Strolls in the Countryside for Us

Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony is one of the great depictions of nature in music.

Thankfully for us, he loved to take strolls in the countryside outside of Vienna with his music notebook in hand and turn his impressions of the sights and sounds around him into musical pictures that have the power to refresh and inspire us as much as it did him.

Beethoven did say that this music is more of an emotional impression than a literal picture of nature, although we can hear the sounds of birds and certainly the great thunderstorm.  But perhaps the key is the feeling that is conveyed.  As he said in another context, it is “written from the heart, may it go to the heart.”

And as we now have more and more opportunity to enjoy the beautiful spring weather here in central Ohio, perhaps taking a stroll in a park or just walking down a tree-lined street, we can marvel at the connection we feel with the great composer whose love of nature over two hundred years ago still resonates with us today in this wonderful music.

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