Classical Music Inspired by Nature

This week was the last week of Summer before M3 Creative Academy’s Academic Session starts. Therefore, I took my boys to Mammoth Lakes in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains for some fishing and fun. We did not catch many fish, but the natural beauty of the area makes up for any lack of fish. 

While sitting in one of America’s most beautiful places, I was thinking about how much classical music has been inspired by or composed to reflect nature. One of my favorite works came to mind while sitting beside pristine mountain lakes hope a trout would bite my line.

Schubert’s “Trout Quintet” is a unique work written for piano and string quartet (violin, viola, cello, and bass). Like many classical works with nicknames, the Trout Quintet derives its name from the 4th movement which is a set of variations on Schubert’s song “Die Forelle” which means “The Trout.” (On a personal note, I have always wanted to perform this work but have never had the chance)

Beethoven’s “Symphony 6 (Storm)” is a prominent work that shows Classical Music’s relationship to nature. Beethoven was known to take walks in the woods for musical inspiration. This movement, which I included in the Spotify playlist, is Beethoven’s depiction of a summer storm. Thankfully, we encountered no storms on our trip, but I have experienced many sudden violent storms in the mountains. When listening, be sure to hear the various elements of a storm like raindrops, thunder, wind, and the passing of the storm.

Debussy’s “From Dawn to Noon on the Sea,” is a highly descriptive and colorful work of the French impressionist movement. I envision paintings by impressionists like Monet or Van Gogh with bright, vivid colors and thick, expressive brushstrokes whenever I listen to music by Claude Debussy or Maurice Ravel. The most moving part, in my opinion, comes around the 8-minute mark with the drums and cymbals crashing up like big waves hitting the rocks jutting out from the shore.

On The Beach

at Trouville

by Claude Monet [Public Domain]

Hopefully, you enjoy your weekend and get outside while the weather is warm. Also, be sure to explore how our unique approach to virtual piano and guitar lessons can make a huge difference for you and your children.