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Summer of nothing

Beethoven sits us down by the stream and does... nothing

Summer afternoon
Summer afternoon
Video:

Beethoven - Symphony No. 6 (Proms 2012)

Our recent little thunderstorm reminded me of what is probably the best piece of summer music: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. There are fives sections of the symphony, one of which is a thunderstorm which passes through the countryside.

There is no doubt as to what Beethoven intended with this music since he wrote descriptive headings at the top of each section such as Gewitter Sturm. Thunder Storm. The storm in Beethoven’s music is more extensive than any storm we’ll ever have here in San Diego.

What makes this a great piece of music for summer is that it’s great music. Most classical music with a summer theme remains somewhat idyllic the entire time, and is no longer than about 15 minutes.

This is music written by a human being who understood winter. Beethoven understood winter beyond its attributes as a season. If we stop to consider it, we all understand winter. We all understand what Shakespeare meant by “the winter of our discontent.” We just express it differently — much differently.

We’ve all awakened on a summer morning when the day stretches out before us full of nothing but itself. I feel that in Beethoven’s music — what he called “the awakening of happy feelings” for the first section.

The second movement, the “scene by the brook” is about sitting by a brook doing nothing. This hearkens to Knoxville: Summer of 1915. “They are not talking much, and the talk is quiet, of nothing in particular, of nothing at all in particular, of nothing at all.”

We all want to get out there and do something with the summer. Maybe we can all get out there and do nothing for just a little bit this summer.

After the storm, Beethoven basks us in sunlight. He captures the feeling of those long golden beams that only exist on a late summer afternoon.

Beethoven is sharing a summer day with us. When is the last time you got to spend the day with a genius?

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Summer afternoon
Summer afternoon
Video:

Beethoven - Symphony No. 6 (Proms 2012)

Our recent little thunderstorm reminded me of what is probably the best piece of summer music: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. There are fives sections of the symphony, one of which is a thunderstorm which passes through the countryside.

There is no doubt as to what Beethoven intended with this music since he wrote descriptive headings at the top of each section such as Gewitter Sturm. Thunder Storm. The storm in Beethoven’s music is more extensive than any storm we’ll ever have here in San Diego.

What makes this a great piece of music for summer is that it’s great music. Most classical music with a summer theme remains somewhat idyllic the entire time, and is no longer than about 15 minutes.

This is music written by a human being who understood winter. Beethoven understood winter beyond its attributes as a season. If we stop to consider it, we all understand winter. We all understand what Shakespeare meant by “the winter of our discontent.” We just express it differently — much differently.

We’ve all awakened on a summer morning when the day stretches out before us full of nothing but itself. I feel that in Beethoven’s music — what he called “the awakening of happy feelings” for the first section.

The second movement, the “scene by the brook” is about sitting by a brook doing nothing. This hearkens to Knoxville: Summer of 1915. “They are not talking much, and the talk is quiet, of nothing in particular, of nothing at all in particular, of nothing at all.”

We all want to get out there and do something with the summer. Maybe we can all get out there and do nothing for just a little bit this summer.

After the storm, Beethoven basks us in sunlight. He captures the feeling of those long golden beams that only exist on a late summer afternoon.

Beethoven is sharing a summer day with us. When is the last time you got to spend the day with a genius?

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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