TWO TALES OF THE RISING SUN
On Depicting Nature in Music
For centuries now, composers have imitated the sounds of nature in music. Vivaldi's Primavera birds and Beethoven's 'Pastoral' Symphony thunderstorm come quickly to mind as examples of musical mimicking in this regard -- instruments taking on the guise of natural life to the best of their abilities. In the case of Vivaldi's La Primavera, there is absolute clarity as to which elements of nature are being depicted at any given time, since the composer's accompanying poem directs our attention to the relevant places in the score. And even in Beethoven's 'Pastoral' Symphony, though there is no accompanying poem, the movement's titles give the listener a sense of what is being depicted (eg, Gewitter und Sturm)...
Copyright © 11 March 2013
Andrew Schartmann, Connecticut, USA