Beethoven and Emerson
Laszlo Laszlo belief and Religion February, 13, 13 Beethoven Pastoral Symphony and Emperor’s Nature. “Nature is a glorious school for the heart! It is well; I shall be a scholar in this school and bring an eager heart to her Instruction.
Here I shall learn wisdom, the only wisdom that Is free from disgust; here I shall learn to know God and find a foretaste of heaven In HIS knowledge. Among these occupations my earthly days shall flow peacefully along until I am accepted into that world where I shall no longer be a student, but a knower of wisdom. ” (L. V.Beethoven) The importance of nature for artist’s, poets and musicians was a common ground and dominant influence in the romantic period. Although the American poet and philosopher Ralph Wald Emerson lived from 1803 to 1882 and the German composer Ludwig Van Beethoven from 1770 to 1827 their admiration and Inspiration for nature was parallel. In 1832 Emerson finished his book Nature, by that time Beethoven had died five years earlier.
For Emerson to appreciate nature one must go into an abstract solitude and retire from his world as well as from society in order to get a sense of the sublime.In 1814 Beethoven wrote in a letter to Baroness Von Dropkick ” How happy I am to be able to wander among bushes and herbs, under trees and over rocks; no man can love the country as I love It. Woods, trees and rocks send back the echo that man desires. ” Even though Beethoven maintained correspondence affairs and admiration for the Baroness, he lived in solitude dedicated to his musical craft throughout his adulthood; his introverted character and personality are well known and quite extensively documented. Beethoven was a lover of nature who spent a retreat deal of his time on walks In the country.He frequently left Vienna to work in the countryside. In 1807 he completed his sixth symphony opus 68 “pastoral, it is one of his very compositions written In a programmatic form.
He described this piece as more the expression of feeling than painting. His first movement titled Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the country depicts a very calm countryside. This remind us of how Emerson describes the charming landscape on the first chapter of Nature, of how no man owns it, but he who can integrate it all and has an infancy purity can enjoy it at full.The second movement of the symphony is named “By the Brook”; It opens with a stream Like motif, which evokes flowing water. At the end of the movement we can also hear the woodwind Instruments Imitating birds such as a cuckoo, quail and a nightingale. Emerson in chapter 3 describes the implicit beauty of the tribes of birds as well as of watercourses. For him nature is a sea of forms radically alike and unique, and every form of it being a brook or the singing of a bird makes AC analogous impression in the mind, where perfection and harmony create tatty.
The third movement of the symphony is what we call In musical terms a as a happy gathering of country folk dancing and reveling. The highly intricate rhythmic dance reminds us the rejoice of the spirit addressed on chapter 7 of Nature. For Emerson the spirit is one and not compound, it does not act upon us from without us in space and time, but spiritually or through ourselves. The fourth movement depicts a violent thunderstorm with thorough realism, building from Just a light rain to a great climax with thunder, lightning, high winds, and sheets of rain. E storm eventually passes by, with an occasional tolling of thunder still heard in the far distance. After this storm movement comes calmer fifth movement in what Beethoven described as a shepherds’ song, cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm. Here we can also see how the devotion of spirit and its importance for Emerson is analogous to the gratitude and devotion to of the people of the countryside.
As we can appreciate after hearing Beethoven pastoral symphony and reading Emperor’s Nature musicians and poets in the romanticism began to see the placements in society threatening natural life.