Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 6 & 2 / Bernard Haitink, London Symphony Orchestra
The 'Pastoral' symphony is one of Beethoven's most consistently popular works, evoking feelings of the natural world's beauty. The symphony embodies the spirit of the dawning Romantic era in its depiction of the countryside, and allowed Beethoven to express his love of nature and the outdoors. At the time of its completion, the Second Symphony was probably the longest yet composed. Written while he was coming to terms with the onset of deafness, it is surprisingly light hearted and cheerful.