Symphony No. 6


Beethoven, L v


1st Movement – 13 mins 41 secs
2nd Movement – 14 mins 37 secs
3rd Movement – 18 mins 32 secs


Principal flute, 3 flutes, 2 oboes, Principal clarinet, 3 clarinet all in B flat, 3 bassoons, 2 alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
2 horns in F, Principal trumpet in E flat, 3 trumpets in B flat, Flugel horn, 2 trombone, tenor trom- bone, bas trombone, euphonium, tuba, String bass


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Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770 – 1727, was a German composer and pianist, probably one of the most admired composers in the Western sphere of influence, for his music is some of the most frequently played at concerts. He wrote 9 symphonies, 5 piano concerti, 32 piano sonatas (including the well know Moonlight and Pathetique sonatas), 16 string quartets and the magnificent Fidelio opera. There were innumerable smaller works for chamber ensembles and choral works for unaccompanied choir but more often with piano or organ. His two signature orchestral and choral works are the Choral Fantasia and the 9th Symphony, the first great choral symphonic work.

Beethoven’s deafness became an increasing barrier to his ability to perform and in later years, there would be two conductors, Beethoven and another who could hear what was going on. However, his piano playing and composing abilities were demonstrated admirably when he ‘improvised’ (more likely played what he had planned in his head) the opening piano section to the Choral Fantasia.

The arrangement of his 6th Symphony, the ‘Pastoral’ comes in three parts. Part one contains movement 1, part two contains movement 2 and part three contains movement 3, 4 and 5.

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