• Document: In the open air Beethoven and Nature Special exhibition at the Beethoven-Haus Bonn 3 rd of November 19 th of December Supported by: The special exhibition In the open air - Beethoven and N...
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In the open air — Beethoven and Nature — Special exhibition at the Beethoven-Haus Bonn — 3 of November – rd 19th of December 2017 |1 The special exhibition In the open air - Beethoven and Nature focuses on an essential aspect of the composer’s life: Beethoven’s Supported by: relation to nature not only offers insight into his attitude of mind and his view of everyday existence but also into his musical creativity and compositional process. ‘Nature’ covers many things; the exhibition presents various approaches to the subject. aufgrund eines Beschlusses Beethoven’s life des Deutschen Bundestages with nature — Beethoven’s affinity with nature showed itself already when he was a child. It is said that as a boy, he spent hours on the roof with a telescope, viewing the Rhine and the Sieben- gebirge, a range of high hills visible on the horizon to the southeast of Bonn. From 1799 onwards, he would also have been able to enjoy nature on the long walks he took, not far from Vienna, during his yearly summer holidays in the country. These walks, and others that he undertook in his free time, were not the same as the daily walks he took, both as moments for composing and simply as a form of exercise in the fresh air. These regular walks he continued during the autumn and winter months in Vienna. Beethoven was not afraid of wind and weather (showcase 1: Beethoven in ugly weather, photography (autotype) after a watercolour by Johann Nepomuk Hoechle, 1820-1825). In an article in the Stuttgarter Morgenblatt (Stuttgart Morning News) of the 5th of November 1823 Johann Sporschils wrote: “But above all he loves nature. It is not easy for him to spend a whole day in his room even in the worst winter weather and when he is in the countryside in the summer, he is usually already in God’s flowering garden before sunrise.” The sketchbooks Beethoven took with him during his walks helped with capturing and the ordering of his musical ideas. Although he thus composed on his walks, this is not to say that he necessarily drew direct inspiration from the nature around him. Compared with busy urban life in Vienna (Beethoven in the streets of Vienna, reproduction of a painting by Lazar Binenbaum, circa 1904), life in the country not only gave Beethoven more freedom of movement but above all rest and the opportunity for undisturbed work. Imprint: Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Bonngasse 20, 53111 Bonn Cover: Beethoven composes the Pastoral, aquatint etching after a drawing by Franz Hegi, circa 1839, collection Hans Conrad Bodmer, Beethov

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