Fri 19 Jun, 5.00pm
Symphony No. 6: Pantheism and camaraderie, Beethoven Symphony films, Worldwide
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Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth symphonies were written in quick succession but they could hardly be more different: in contrast to the urgent, defiant gestures of the Fifth, the ‘Pastoral’ symphony brings to mind a world away from the politics and oppression of Vienna. In this instalment of our Beethoven Symphonies series, John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique take refreshment in Beethoven’s evocation of nature.
Directed and edited by Richard Wilson. Produced by Bill Lloyd & Richard Wilson. Director of Photography, Benjamin Ealovega.
About the series
In May, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and John Eliot Gardiner should have been performing Beethoven’s complete symphonies at the Barbican Hall in London. This cycle was part of an international tour celebrating both Beethoven’s 250th anniversary and the 30th birthday of the ORR. We were lucky enough to be able to complete three cycles – in Barcelona, New York and Chicago – before the pandemic put a stop to all concerts. To give you a flavour of this monumental project, we will be releasing a nine-part series of films where John Eliot Gardiner will give his thoughts on Beethoven’s musical mind, and the orchestra will be seen rehearsing the symphonies.
Beethoven’s process of composition meant wrestling not just with beauty and emotion but also with political and humanitarian themes. During these uncertain times, perhaps more than any other composer, he gives us a feeling of triumph over adversity. The symphonies express Beethoven’s own bravery in the face of personal problems and these documentaries capture John Eliot Gardiner and the ORR tackling the music with a mixture of scholarship, energy, imagination and a complete devotion to Beethoven’s miraculous vision.