Critical Analysis Of Ludwig Van Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony

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Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 and died in 1827. He was one of the most influential and crucial figures in the transition period of music from the classical period to the romantic period. Beethoven composed his Pastoral Symphony in 1808 during his ‘middle period’, when his symphonies were longer than most and had heroic tunes. During the 18th century the orchestra began to increase both in size and in stature to express more emotions and create a wider variety in sound. Composers began to stray from the “set in stone” structure of the classical style and they moved towards a more “expressive and free attitude.” The pastoral Symphony has a lyrical feel to it and expresses many emotions particularly those of Beethoven’s love of nature.

One main element, and the focus of this essay, is the way in which this symphony includes programmatic elements. Beethoven stated that he did not wish to restrict the listener’s imagination, so the music is mainly there to suggest an atmosphere of the countryside, rather than describe all the aspects of that scene. Beethoven stressed that the symphony was 'more an expression of feelings than a painting '.

The first movement Allegro ma non Troppo, is entitled “Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the country”. This joyful movement is written in sonata form, and begins in the tonic key F major. This key creates a warm and tranquil atmosphere setting the scene, and capturing Beethoven’s great love for nature, as one arrives
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