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Classics Explained: BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 6, 'Pastoral'

An exploration of Beethoven's Symphony no. 6 narrated by Jeremy Siepmann

No digital booklet included

Contents: MP3320

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": I. Awakening of Cheerful Feelings on Arriving in the Country

51:46
$57.75
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

On Beethoven's Openings

1:26
$1.05

Opening phrase of the 'Pastoral': ood, Symbolism and Musical Function

1:44
$1.05

Musical Acorns: the outline of melody; the shape of a question

0:42
$1.05
Show 50 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": I....

The 'question' in the 'Pastoral' repeated...

0:04
$1.05

...and answered

0:12
$1.05

The opening phrase ends on a note full of pregnant expectation

0:19
$1.05

Starting with a stop

0:36
$1.05

The rhythmic profile of the opening phrase; a two-part construction

0:52
$1.05

Phrase One, Part One

0:09
$1.05

Phrase One, Part Two

0:06
$1.05

The properties of rhythmic ambiguity; the 'question' of Phrase One answered

1:03
$1.05

Phrase Two: from meander to march

0:27
$1.05

The makings of a conversation: contrast and variation

0:47
$1.05

Repetition as a major factor, but it's never mere repetition; each time something new is added

0:33
$1.05

From soft to loud and back again; instrumental enrichment from horns and double-basses

0:18
$1.05

Mega-repetition: violins play exactly the same little fragment ten times in a row

0:29
$1.05

But no two repetitions are quite the same; varieties of contrast

0:34
$1.05

More variation: pitch rises; violins joined frist by the clarinet, then by the oboe

0:19
$1.05

Return to opening idea, but with new instrumentation and articulation

0:25
$1.05

Clarinets, horns, bassoons and flutes now join expansive variation

0:49
$1.05

'New' insistent rhythm derived from the first four notes of the piece

0:09
$1.05

With the dawn chorus, a whole forest is waking up; feelings of rapture

0:36
$1.05

First violins play a derivative of the opening figure, joined by wind and strings

0:32
$1.05

Sudden change of key, from the home key (tonic) to the dominant

0:30
$1.05

Arrival at the hightly contrasting second main theme

0:55
$1.05

Unusual properties of second main theme

2:15
$1.05

Rhythmic clash between simultaneous groups of three beats and groups of two

1:09
$1.05

winds fall selent as the violins and violas interrupt with a new theme

0:30
$1.05

Winds answer with the same morse-like rhythm but at half the speed

0:51
$1.05

Crescendo leads to strings' acceleration of the pace with no increase in tempo

1:05
$1.05

Beginning of coda, directly based on morse-like rhythm of the main theme

0:22
$1.05

Strings reiterate small fragment of the new theme 13 times in a row

0:48
$1.05

A simple, rising violin phrase leads to a repeat of the Exposition

0:18
$1.05

The nature and function of the Development section in sonata form; 'harmonic' rhythm explained

2:22
$1.05

The nature of harmonic rhythm illustrated

0:35
$1.05

A typically Beethovenian exercise in the frustration of expectation

0:38
$1.05

Repetitiousness and magic effected largely through instrumental colour

0:42
$1.05

Then come four, almost identical bars

0:08
$1.05

Even greater magic, with sudden switch of key and tone colour

0:28
$1.05

Entire Development section up to this point

1:55
$1.05

The Development continued

1:23
$1.05

Increased unease and suspense as harmonic rhythm accelerates

2:03
$1.05

Arrival at the point of Recapitulation; back to the beginning, as a reminder

1:50
$1.05

Beginning of Recapitulation

0:50
$1.05

More Beethovenian frustrations of expectations which he himself has just set up

1:01
$1.05

Harmonic rhythm speeds up, giving the impression of an accent on every beat

0:34
$1.05

Prevailing mood restored; new theme from clarinets and bassoons

0:28
$1.05

Violins and violas take up theme; horns, cellos, double-basses accompany

0:48
$1.05

A hush falls, followed by a return of the movement's most familiar tag in strings

0:58
$1.05

Clarinet takes up the running triplet figures of the main closing theme

0:32
$1.05

First violins take up the opening phrase again, accompanied by double-basses

0:37
$1.05

Beethoven slips in one last surprise; cue to complete movement

0:59
$1.05

First movement (complete)

11:01
$3.15
Hide 50 tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": I....

Beethoven: Second Movement: Scene by the Brook

38:09
$33.60
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

General introduction; the birth of a melody

1:59
$1.05

Brook music quickens; syncopated horns; theme changes hands; evocation of birdsong

1:19
$1.05

The 'motto' theme introduced by violins and treated to round-like overlappings

0:52
$1.05
Show 27 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Second Movement: Scene by the Brook

Transitional 'bridge' theme sets off for new key group. But is it? And does it?

0:39
$1.05

Will he, or won't he? Beethoven keeps us guessing

1:09
$1.05

The run-up to the Second Group

1:14
$1.05

Arrival at the Second Group; but where is the actual Second Subject?

0:39
$1.05

A new tune is introduced by the bassoon

0:38
$1.05

Tune is repeated three times

1:00
$1.05

...which the full orchestra now takes up in varied form

0:45
$1.05

Theme carried by flutes and first violins in a charmingly waltz-like development

0:48
$1.05

A reminder of precedent

0:14
$1.05

Back to the prevailing triple-metre with violins, bassoons and flutes

0:16
$1.05

Another reminder of precedent...

0:16
$1.05

...and a cue to some unexpected departures

0:38
$1.05

The transformational magic of Beethoven's 'tone-painting' - and a new varation

0:50
$1.05

Conversation of clarinet, flute and oboe on the way to the Development

0:43
$1.05

Harmonic movement emphasised by violins; oboe takes up the First Subject

0:38
$1.05

Flute and oboe discuss the First Subject, before arriving together at the Transition

1:04
$1.05

Gains in volume and intensity lead to a new key-change

0:47
$1.05

More thematic transformation through the agency of tone-colour

1:11
$1.05

Harmonic fluideity - instability - as the central engine of the Development section

1:40
$1.05

Harmonic instability, thematic dissolution increase, then lessen with approach of Recapitulation

1:41
$1.05

Recap. and transformation: key and material are right, but what a change of presentation!

1:29
$1.05

Just when we know what's coming, Beethoven changes the rules (or at least the harmony)

0:53
$1.05

Transformation by reorchestration; switch to long sustained chords; then everything stops

1:20
$1.05

The silence is broken by voices of nightingale (flute), quail (oboe) and cuckoo (clarinet)

0:40
$1.05

First violins bring back motto theme

0:12
$1.05

Cue to complete movement on CD 2

0:32
$1.05

Second movement (complete)

12:03
$3.15
Hide 27 tracks for Beethoven: Second Movement: Scene by the Brook

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": III. Merry Gathering of Country Folk

14:40
$11.55
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

Beethoven and the Scherzo: an introduction; Part One of opening phrase taken by the strings

1:32
$1.05

Immediate response; Part One is answered by a march more singing, continuous legato

0:23
$1.05

Entire orchestra gives out opening theme, this time fortissimo and with powerful accents

1:06
$1.05
Show 8 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": III....

A mustical ball game. The contrast of this and the first two movements could hardly be greater

0:33
$1.05

After quietly teasing suspense, Beethoven mocks village band, first the oboe, then the bassoon

1:18
$1.05

Clarinet joins in, then horn takes the tune - the dance no longer boisterous but lyrical

0:48
$1.05

Strings sweep the village musicians aside and hurtle us into the new, boisterous 'Trio' section

0:46
$1.05

The air is alive with the sound of (mock) bagpipes, tambourines and fifes

1:00
$1.05

Coda; begins as the movement itself begins, but soon diverges in harmony and instrumentation

1:18
$1.05

Original layout compressed; order of events is changed nd Beethoven springs a big surprise

0:42
$1.05

Third movement (complete)

5:14
$1.05
Hide 8 tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": III....

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": IV. Thunderstorm

15:03
$12.60
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

Unparalled portrait of nature's power over humanity, with some stupendous orchestration

3:05
$1.05

Self-generating form and terror of total unpredictability; 'anxiety motif' from the violins

1:34
$1.05

The 'lashing rain' motif - downward-driving arpeggios from the first violins and violas

0:36
$1.05
Show 9 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": IV....

The 'lightning' motif, and its recurrnece later in the movement

0:22
$1.05

'Rain' motif, derived from descending scale pattern from the violins at the outest

0:13
$1.05

Shivering tremolandos from the strings and increasingly eerie harmonies from the wind

0:18
$1.05

Steady crescendo in strings; terrifying, downward spelling-out of chords in the violins

1:37
$1.05

Extremes of dynamic contrasts; the unsettling, disturbing, undermining effects of chromaticism

1:02
$1.05

Abandonment of melody, and most traces even of rhythm; sustained, discordant harmony

0:20
$1.05

Storm dispersed, the sun reappears, bathing sodden earth below with its life-giving rays

1:52
$1.05

Cue to complete preformance of Fourth Movement

0:09
$1.05

Fourth movement (complete)

3:55
$1.05
Hide 9 tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": IV....

Beethoven: Fifth Movement: Shepherd's Song - Happy and Thankful Feelings After the Storm

33:22
$22.05
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

'Yodelling' figure from clarinet, then horn, the violins, who introduce the main theme

0:59
$1.05

Details of instrumental magic in the interplay of horns, cellos, clarinets and bassoons

1:06
$1.05

Main theme heard three times in a row - and yet never the same way twice

1:06
$1.05
Show 16 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Fifth Movement: Shepherd's Song - Happy and Thankful...

Now we get the whole orchestra, playing full out, with violins all double-stopping

0:36
$1.05

Transition to the next section, based on the last two notes of the main theme

0:43
$1.05

The rhythmic basis of new transition theme, first in violas, then takes up by first violins

0:38
$1.05

Another rhythmic details of extended transition comes increasingly into the foreground

0:29
$1.05

...and is then heard in expanded version, taken in sequence by the strings, from the top down

0:51
$1.05

New phrase, introduced by violins, brings us resoundingly back to the opening material

1:13
$1.05

Main theme, re-orchestrated; unexpected drift into another key and a new, gently flowing theme

2:15
$1.05

Hints of a return to main theme; long 'pedal point'; running commentary from the violins

0:58
$1.05

Main theme returns, but significantly altered, and not entirely intact

0:37
$1.05

Running commentary now heard in the middle, with alternating pizzicatos both above and below

0:24
$1.05

Part Three of main theme given to entire orchestra, leading to final appearance of Theme two

1:21
$1.05

Extended coda; overlapping variations of main theme, rather in the manner of a round

2:09
$1.05

Suddenly the scene changes. A variation of the 'running commentary' cited in Tracks 34 and 36

0:51
$1.05

The crowning glory, as the Shepherd's Song of Thanksgiving takes on a 'heavenly' magnificence

2:10
$1.05

Cue into complete performance of Fifth Movement through the 'gateway' of the Fourth

1:09
$1.05

Fourth and Fifth movements (complete)

13:47
$3.15
Hide 16 tracks for Beethoven: Fifth Movement: Shepherd's Song - Happy and Thankful...

Contents: FLAC44100

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": I. Awakening of Cheerful Feelings on Arriving in the Country

51:46
$68.80
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

On Beethoven's Openings

1:26
$1.25

Opening phrase of the 'Pastoral': ood, Symbolism and Musical Function

1:44
$1.25

Musical Acorns: the outline of melody; the shape of a question

0:42
$1.25
Show 50 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": I....

The 'question' in the 'Pastoral' repeated...

0:04
$1.25

...and answered

0:12
$1.25

The opening phrase ends on a note full of pregnant expectation

0:19
$1.25

Starting with a stop

0:36
$1.25

The rhythmic profile of the opening phrase; a two-part construction

0:52
$1.25

Phrase One, Part One

0:09
$1.25

Phrase One, Part Two

0:06
$1.25

The properties of rhythmic ambiguity; the 'question' of Phrase One answered

1:03
$1.25

Phrase Two: from meander to march

0:27
$1.25

The makings of a conversation: contrast and variation

0:47
$1.25

Repetition as a major factor, but it's never mere repetition; each time something new is added

0:33
$1.25

From soft to loud and back again; instrumental enrichment from horns and double-basses

0:18
$1.25

Mega-repetition: violins play exactly the same little fragment ten times in a row

0:29
$1.25

But no two repetitions are quite the same; varieties of contrast

0:34
$1.25

More variation: pitch rises; violins joined frist by the clarinet, then by the oboe

0:19
$1.25

Return to opening idea, but with new instrumentation and articulation

0:25
$1.25

Clarinets, horns, bassoons and flutes now join expansive variation

0:49
$1.25

'New' insistent rhythm derived from the first four notes of the piece

0:09
$1.25

With the dawn chorus, a whole forest is waking up; feelings of rapture

0:36
$1.25

First violins play a derivative of the opening figure, joined by wind and strings

0:32
$1.25

Sudden change of key, from the home key (tonic) to the dominant

0:30
$1.25

Arrival at the hightly contrasting second main theme

0:55
$1.25

Unusual properties of second main theme

2:15
$1.25

Rhythmic clash between simultaneous groups of three beats and groups of two

1:09
$1.25

winds fall selent as the violins and violas interrupt with a new theme

0:30
$1.25

Winds answer with the same morse-like rhythm but at half the speed

0:51
$1.25

Crescendo leads to strings' acceleration of the pace with no increase in tempo

1:05
$1.25

Beginning of coda, directly based on morse-like rhythm of the main theme

0:22
$1.25

Strings reiterate small fragment of the new theme 13 times in a row

0:48
$1.25

A simple, rising violin phrase leads to a repeat of the Exposition

0:18
$1.25

The nature and function of the Development section in sonata form; 'harmonic' rhythm explained

2:22
$1.25

The nature of harmonic rhythm illustrated

0:35
$1.25

A typically Beethovenian exercise in the frustration of expectation

0:38
$1.25

Repetitiousness and magic effected largely through instrumental colour

0:42
$1.25

Then come four, almost identical bars

0:08
$1.25

Even greater magic, with sudden switch of key and tone colour

0:28
$1.25

Entire Development section up to this point

1:55
$1.25

The Development continued

1:23
$1.25

Increased unease and suspense as harmonic rhythm accelerates

2:03
$1.25

Arrival at the point of Recapitulation; back to the beginning, as a reminder

1:50
$1.25

Beginning of Recapitulation

0:50
$1.25

More Beethovenian frustrations of expectations which he himself has just set up

1:01
$1.25

Harmonic rhythm speeds up, giving the impression of an accent on every beat

0:34
$1.25

Prevailing mood restored; new theme from clarinets and bassoons

0:28
$1.25

Violins and violas take up theme; horns, cellos, double-basses accompany

0:48
$1.25

A hush falls, followed by a return of the movement's most familiar tag in strings

0:58
$1.25

Clarinet takes up the running triplet figures of the main closing theme

0:32
$1.25

First violins take up the opening phrase again, accompanied by double-basses

0:37
$1.25

Beethoven slips in one last surprise; cue to complete movement

0:59
$1.25

First movement (complete)

11:01
$3.80
Hide 50 tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": I....

Beethoven: Second Movement: Scene by the Brook

38:09
$40.05
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

General introduction; the birth of a melody

1:59
$1.25

Brook music quickens; syncopated horns; theme changes hands; evocation of birdsong

1:19
$1.25

The 'motto' theme introduced by violins and treated to round-like overlappings

0:52
$1.25
Show 27 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Second Movement: Scene by the Brook

Transitional 'bridge' theme sets off for new key group. But is it? And does it?

0:39
$1.25

Will he, or won't he? Beethoven keeps us guessing

1:09
$1.25

The run-up to the Second Group

1:14
$1.25

Arrival at the Second Group; but where is the actual Second Subject?

0:39
$1.25

A new tune is introduced by the bassoon

0:38
$1.25

Tune is repeated three times

1:00
$1.25

...which the full orchestra now takes up in varied form

0:45
$1.25

Theme carried by flutes and first violins in a charmingly waltz-like development

0:48
$1.25

A reminder of precedent

0:14
$1.25

Back to the prevailing triple-metre with violins, bassoons and flutes

0:16
$1.25

Another reminder of precedent...

0:16
$1.25

...and a cue to some unexpected departures

0:38
$1.25

The transformational magic of Beethoven's 'tone-painting' - and a new varation

0:50
$1.25

Conversation of clarinet, flute and oboe on the way to the Development

0:43
$1.25

Harmonic movement emphasised by violins; oboe takes up the First Subject

0:38
$1.25

Flute and oboe discuss the First Subject, before arriving together at the Transition

1:04
$1.25

Gains in volume and intensity lead to a new key-change

0:47
$1.25

More thematic transformation through the agency of tone-colour

1:11
$1.25

Harmonic fluideity - instability - as the central engine of the Development section

1:40
$1.25

Harmonic instability, thematic dissolution increase, then lessen with approach of Recapitulation

1:41
$1.25

Recap. and transformation: key and material are right, but what a change of presentation!

1:29
$1.25

Just when we know what's coming, Beethoven changes the rules (or at least the harmony)

0:53
$1.25

Transformation by reorchestration; switch to long sustained chords; then everything stops

1:20
$1.25

The silence is broken by voices of nightingale (flute), quail (oboe) and cuckoo (clarinet)

0:40
$1.25

First violins bring back motto theme

0:12
$1.25

Cue to complete movement on CD 2

0:32
$1.25

Second movement (complete)

12:03
$3.80
Hide 27 tracks for Beethoven: Second Movement: Scene by the Brook

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": III. Merry Gathering of Country Folk

14:40
$13.75
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

Beethoven and the Scherzo: an introduction; Part One of opening phrase taken by the strings

1:32
$1.25

Immediate response; Part One is answered by a march more singing, continuous legato

0:23
$1.25

Entire orchestra gives out opening theme, this time fortissimo and with powerful accents

1:06
$1.25
Show 8 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": III....

A mustical ball game. The contrast of this and the first two movements could hardly be greater

0:33
$1.25

After quietly teasing suspense, Beethoven mocks village band, first the oboe, then the bassoon

1:18
$1.25

Clarinet joins in, then horn takes the tune - the dance no longer boisterous but lyrical

0:48
$1.25

Strings sweep the village musicians aside and hurtle us into the new, boisterous 'Trio' section

0:46
$1.25

The air is alive with the sound of (mock) bagpipes, tambourines and fifes

1:00
$1.25

Coda; begins as the movement itself begins, but soon diverges in harmony and instrumentation

1:18
$1.25

Original layout compressed; order of events is changed nd Beethoven springs a big surprise

0:42
$1.25

Third movement (complete)

5:14
$1.25
Hide 8 tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": III....

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": IV. Thunderstorm

15:03
$15.00
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

Unparalled portrait of nature's power over humanity, with some stupendous orchestration

3:05
$1.25

Self-generating form and terror of total unpredictability; 'anxiety motif' from the violins

1:34
$1.25

The 'lashing rain' motif - downward-driving arpeggios from the first violins and violas

0:36
$1.25
Show 9 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": IV....

The 'lightning' motif, and its recurrnece later in the movement

0:22
$1.25

'Rain' motif, derived from descending scale pattern from the violins at the outest

0:13
$1.25

Shivering tremolandos from the strings and increasingly eerie harmonies from the wind

0:18
$1.25

Steady crescendo in strings; terrifying, downward spelling-out of chords in the violins

1:37
$1.25

Extremes of dynamic contrasts; the unsettling, disturbing, undermining effects of chromaticism

1:02
$1.25

Abandonment of melody, and most traces even of rhythm; sustained, discordant harmony

0:20
$1.25

Storm dispersed, the sun reappears, bathing sodden earth below with its life-giving rays

1:52
$1.25

Cue to complete preformance of Fourth Movement

0:09
$1.25

Fourth movement (complete)

3:55
$1.25
Hide 9 tracks for Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral": IV....

Beethoven: Fifth Movement: Shepherd's Song - Happy and Thankful Feelings After the Storm

33:22
$26.30
  • Jeremy Siepmann (reader)

'Yodelling' figure from clarinet, then horn, the violins, who introduce the main theme

0:59
$1.25

Details of instrumental magic in the interplay of horns, cellos, clarinets and bassoons

1:06
$1.25

Main theme heard three times in a row - and yet never the same way twice

1:06
$1.25
Show 16 remaining tracks for Beethoven: Fifth Movement: Shepherd's Song - Happy and Thankful...

Now we get the whole orchestra, playing full out, with violins all double-stopping

0:36
$1.25

Transition to the next section, based on the last two notes of the main theme

0:43
$1.25

The rhythmic basis of new transition theme, first in violas, then takes up by first violins

0:38
$1.25

Another rhythmic details of extended transition comes increasingly into the foreground

0:29
$1.25

...and is then heard in expanded version, taken in sequence by the strings, from the top down

0:51
$1.25

New phrase, introduced by violins, brings us resoundingly back to the opening material

1:13
$1.25

Main theme, re-orchestrated; unexpected drift into another key and a new, gently flowing theme

2:15
$1.25

Hints of a return to main theme; long 'pedal point'; running commentary from the violins

0:58
$1.25

Main theme returns, but significantly altered, and not entirely intact

0:37
$1.25

Running commentary now heard in the middle, with alternating pizzicatos both above and below

0:24
$1.25

Part Three of main theme given to entire orchestra, leading to final appearance of Theme two

1:21
$1.25

Extended coda; overlapping variations of main theme, rather in the manner of a round

2:09
$1.25

Suddenly the scene changes. A variation of the 'running commentary' cited in Tracks 34 and 36

0:51
$1.25

The crowning glory, as the Shepherd's Song of Thanksgiving takes on a 'heavenly' magnificence

2:10
$1.25

Cue into complete performance of Fifth Movement through the 'gateway' of the Fourth

1:09
$1.25

Fourth and Fifth movements (complete)

13:47
$3.80
Hide 16 tracks for Beethoven: Fifth Movement: Shepherd's Song - Happy and Thankful...