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FREN 145 Intensive Intermediate and Advanced French: Beethoven & the Pastoral Symphony

A guide to resources on Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony for studying André Gide's Symphonie Pastorale, emphasizing French-language resources

About Beethoven

Beethoven, Ludwig van

(b Bonn, bap. Dec 17, 1770d Vienna, March 26, 1827). German composer. His early achievements, as composer and performer, show him to be extending the Viennese Classical tradition that he had inherited from Mozart and Haydn. As personal affliction – deafness, and the inability to enter into happy personal relationships – loomed larger, he began to compose in an increasingly individual musical style, and at the end of his life he wrote his most sublime and profound works. From his success at combining tradition and exploration and personal expression, he came to be regarded as the dominant musical figure of the 19th century, and scarcely any significant composer since his time has escaped his influence or failed to acknowledge it. For the respect his works have commanded of musicians, and the popularity they have enjoyed among wider audiences, he is probably the most admired composer in the history of Western music.

Kerman, Joseph, Alan Tyson, Scott G. Burnham, Douglas Johnson, and William Drabkin. "Beethoven, Ludwig van." Grove Music Online. 2001. Oxford University Press. Date of access 25 Mar. 2020,

Selected Articles and Books in French

About the Pastoral Symphony

Beethoven's Symphony no. 6 in F major op. 68 (1808); it was published as Sinfonia pastorale, a programme symphony in which sounds of nature are imitated, its five movements being ‘Awakening of Happy Feelings on Arriving in the Country’, ‘By the Brook’, ‘Merrymaking of the Country Folk’, ‘Storm’, and ‘Shepherds’ Song: Joy and Gratitude after the Storm'.

"‘Pastoral’ Symphony." The Oxford Companion to Music. Ed. Latham, Alison. Oxford University Press, 2011. Oxford Reference. Date Accessed 25 Mar. 2020. 

Selected Books and Articles in English

Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827