Beethoven’s ever-popular Symphony No. 6 Pastorale will be performed when William LaRue Jones conducts the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra in a free concert featuring faculty string bass player Volkan Orhon at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26, in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union.
The other works on the program will be Essay for Orchestra No. 1, Op. 12, by American composer Samuel Barber, and Nino Rota’s Divertimento Concertante for double bass and orchestra, featuring Orhon.
The picturesque Pastorale, completed in 1808 and composed simultaneously with the dramatic Erioca, is the only Beethoven symphony with explicitly programmatic content—the music portrays an excursion in the countryside, complete with bird songs and a vividly painted thunderstorm. Generations of filmgoers now associate the work with the mythological sequence in Disney’s Fantasia, for which its programmatic imagery was a “natural” fit.