Beethoven Symphony no. 6 in F major 'pastoral' on period instrumen
  • Classical music composed by Ludwig van Beethoven Mov 1 Mov 2 Mov 2 continued Mov 3&4 Mov 5 Dec 16, 1770 Beethoven was born (238 years ago) Franz Bruggen Orchestra of the 18th century The finale is in F major and is in 6/8 time. The first eight bars form a continuation of the introduction of which the storm was the main part; the finale proper begins in the ninth bar. The movement is written in sonata rondo form, meaning that the main theme appears in the tonic key at the beginning of the development as well as the exposition and the recapitulation. There is a very long coda; the "tail that wags the dog". Like many classical finales, this movement emphasises a symmetrical eight-bar theme, in this case representing the shepherds' song of thanksgiving. The mood throughout is unmistakably joyful. The coda, which Antony Hopkins has called "arguably the finest music of the whole symphony," starts quietly and gradually builds to an ecstatic culmination for the full orchestra (minus "storm instruments"), with the first violins playing very rapid triplets at the top of their range. There follows a fervent passage suggestive of prayer, marked by Beethoven "pianissimo, sotto voce"; most conductors slow the tempo for this passage. After a brief period of afterglow, the work ends with two emphatic chords.

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