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Beethoven Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral) – Violin I Part

Edited by Ilya Kaler

Title: Symphony No. 6
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Instrument: Violin
Edited By: Ilya Kaler
Instrumentation: Orchestral
Pages: 19

The first violin part for Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 – also known as the Pastoral Symphony – has been edited by Ilya Kaler, who has appeared as guest concertmaster with the San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony. Kaler's bowings, fingerings and other editorial markings have been added throughout the score.

The Pastoral Symphony is one of Beethoven's few works with explicitly "programmatic content," meaning it contains an extra-musical narrative. The symphony was first performed in 1808, along with the Fifth Symphony, in a four hour concert. Symphony No. 6 contains five movements, rather than the four typical of Classical-era symphonies. Each movement is prefaced with a thematic annotation:

  1. Allegro ma non troppo, "Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside"
  2. Andante molto mosso, "Szene am Bach "Scene by the brook"
  3. Allegro, "Merry gathering of country folk"
  4. Allegro, "Thunder. Storm"
  5. Allegretto, "Shepherd's song; cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm"

The Pastoral Symphony begins with a placid and cheerful movement in sonata form depicting the composer's feelings as he arrives in the country, building orchestral texture via multiple repetitions of very short motifs which convey the "the infinite repetition of pattern in nature." The second movement "Scene by the brook" contains a motif imitating flowing water. The third movement is a scherzo in 3/4 time, depicting country folk dancing and reveling. It returns to the main key of F major but ends on an imperfect cadence that leads straight into the stormy fourth movement in F minor. F major returns in the finale, a 6/8 sonata rondo that represents the shepherds' song of thanksgiving.

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