Inspired by Beethoven's revolutionary Symphony no. 6, the first Togetherness edition of 2024 pays homage to the future. And to the unstoppable power of creation.
The Sixth Symphony was composed between 1806 and 1808, but sketches of the work can already be found in notebooks dating back to 1802. The very title of the symphony gave Beethoven some trouble: he initially thought of calling it "Characteristic Symphony, or Recollections of Country Life". He then imagined calling it "Sinfonia Pastorella", but finally chose the name we know today: "Pastoral Symphony". A unique Beethoven experience, the "concept" of this symphony is based on the movement of trying to use so-called "pure" music to express extra-musical realities and contents.
However, this concept should not be associated with programmatic music. Strictly speaking, there is no text or literary programme that explains the musical development. Pastoral music doesn't tell a "story". Beethoven himself states that "description is useless", and he stamps on the forehead of the score that the music was "more an expression of feelings than a painting". This statement explicitly and consciously links Beethoven to romantic ideology and makes him recognise that musical art can only refer to the world as a sonic existence. In the Pastoral, the "countryside impressions" are the composer's own impressions, which he transfigures and elaborates into musical realities. There is no description in the Pastoral. Rather, there are evocations of personal impressions that are consciously processed and elaborated, and finally sublimated into musical language.
Just like in "Pastoral Symphony" it's all about conveying emotions, reading the world around us with the heart. We invite you to discover Center of Portugal in 2024 and all its fascinating destinations filled with bucolic charm.