Symphony No. 6 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, also known as the Pastoral Symphony (German Pastoral-Sinfonie), is a symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, and completed in 1808. One of Beethoven's few works containing explicitly programmatic content, the symphony was first performed in the Theater an der Wien on 22 December 1808 in a four-hour concert.
Beethoven was a lover of nature who spent a great deal of his time on walks in the country. He frequently left Vienna to work in rural locations.
The first sketches of the Pastoral Symphony appeared in 1802. It was composed simultaneously with Beethoven's more famous—and more fiery—Fifth Symphony. Both symphonies were premiered in a long and under-rehearsed concert in the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on 22 December 1808.
The composer said that the Sixth Symphony is "more the expression of feeling than painting", a point underlined by the title of the first movement.
The symphony is scored for piccolo (fourth movement only), 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in F and B flat, 2 trumpets in C and E flat (third, fourth, and fifth movements only), 2 trombones (alto and tenor, fourth and fifth movements only), timpani (fourth movement only), and strings.