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Music

Listen: Kurt Masur conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 6

Exclusive concert recordings with the recently-deceased maestro and the Dresden Philharmonic, as download or on-demand audio stream.

Listen to audio 46:25

Masur conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 6

"My principle: live in the country. My bad hearing doesn't plague me here. It's as though every tree speaks to me in the countryside. Who can express it all?"

Nature lover Ludwig van Beethoven expressed it in music - and nowhere clearer than in his "Pastoral" Symphony, a precursor of program music with movements titled:

  • Cheerful feelings awaken upon arrival in the countryside
  • Scene at the brook
  • Merry gathering of the countryfolk
  • Storm
  • Shepherd songs - happy and grateful feelings after the storm

These movement headings and musical elements such as clearly imitated birdsong or the roar of thunder were to ignite the fantasy, not restrict it, which is why the composer also inscribed on the score: "More an expression of feeling than tone painting."

Understanding music with or without words was something our featured conductor, the late Kurt Masur, always strove for as well.

Conductor Kurt Masur, with his daughter Caroline Masur, his wife Tomoko Sakurai-Masur, daughter-in-law Melinda Lee-Masur, son Ken-David Masur and three grandchildren. Photo: Waltraud Grubitzsch/dpa

Conductor Kurt Masur (2nd from left) in his garden in Leipzig shortly before his 87th birthday. Also pictured (l to r): his daughter Caroline Masur, his wife Tomoko Sakurai-Masur, daughter-in-law Melinda Lee-Masur, son Ken-David Masur and three grandchildren

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