Pastoral Outings

“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.” John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

For all who labor, which is most everyone, save the non-humans masquerading as political jackals, teleprompter reading drones reading government propaganda, corporate CEO types who don finely tailored clothing so that they can look good while spending the day devising ways to screw their employees while rewarding their shareholders with higher stock prices to which much of their salary and bonuses are linked to – the rest of us labor, continually.

And when we get a spot of time to relax just a bit, let our guard down, unplug our mind from the electromagnetic f**kery that saturates the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink – we might have a hankering to get to the forests, to the mountains, the coasts, or just to the local park to get away from it all.

Of course, going to the park for a free concert in the middle of summer, in the middle of a large city, with whatever music is being offered, presents its own pitfalls.

How do I “unsee” rolls of flesh so gloriously displayed? How do I listen to the music when the circle of humans around me is babbling on about where they purchased the fried chicken they are smacking their lips over; and maybe most perplexing of all, why haven’t folks heard of a pumice stone to excavate the prehistoric roadmap that has been etched on the bottom of their slabs of feet?

Ah, the trivial perplexities of living in the city and giving a vain effort to get away from it all with a thousand or so other city-dwellers you’ve never seen or met, giving you a front row seat to partake of their dining and bathroom rituals, or lack thereof.

But there is a better way to get away from it all, particularly if you are stuck in a big city where the everyday is your basic toxic shyte.

Imagine you are deaf.  Then imagine that what you do “for a living” is to create glorious music that will be played for centuries after your departure from the insanity of the age you are living in.

Imagine that you composed one of the greatest symphonies that was a musical reflection of the hell you are going through from understanding that yes, you’re deaf – this being one of the many f**keries from the cosmos – that you, being the greatest of composers, should lose your hearing.

And once that big turd is understood, you back up your creation of the 5th symphony, with the “pastoral” symphony…your sixth symphony.

The sounds of Nature can be heard in many a Beethoven opus, but none so directly and overtly as in his immortal Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68—the Pastoral. It was completed in 1808 (the same year as his triumphant Fifth Symphony). In a letter to his publishers, Beethoven scribbled: “The title of the symphony is ‘Pastoral Symphony” or ‘Recollection of Country Life,’ an expression of feeling rather than painting.” Though “painting”—i.e. descriptive—is also apt, for in this work you hear orchestral interpretations of feelings, yes, but also thunderstorms, dancing country folk and chirping birds. Many years later on one his nature walks with a friend, Beethoven paused, remarking: “Here I composed the ‘Scene by the Brook,’ and the yellowhammers up there—the quails, nightingales and cuckoos ‘round about—composed with me.” With so many of Beethoven’s works we can claim that, afterword, music could never be the same; the Pastoral is one such work.

…“Beethoven’s music takes us from the Classical era to the Romanticism of the 19th century,” Thorgaard explained. “Amazingly, both the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies were premiered at the same event in 1808, demonstrating two distinct facets of the composer’s character. If the Fifth expresses Beethoven’s angst over his loss of hearing, the Sixth reveals the solace he found in nature.” – via

This jag-off writer has issues with park gatherings…the truly wondrous of souls that the world has been fortunate enough to be blessed with from time to time during the millenniums, overcome deafness, illness, suffering and torture – creating music that expresses a power, a love, a melancholic wisp of peace and joy, and a glimpse of the heaven we might each individually dream of.


Tonight’s musical offering:

Beethoven: Symphony No.6 in F, “Pastorale”, Op.68 – Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen – Paavo Jarvi, Director

Photo credit:


  1. Thanks again for the music.
    You do such a good job of finding the videos with good visuals as well as audio. I would never search for them myself so I really appreciate your links.
    Love the conductor’s facial expressions in this one and the close-ups on fingers.

    Liked by 1 person

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