Cantata: Meeres Stille und Glűckliche Fahrt

Beethoven found contrast between peace and force in two poems by Goethe, one of his principal sources of philosophical inspiration. The first poem, Meeres Stille, tells of the dread and deathly stillness of a becalmed sea.  The second, Glückliche Fahrt, evokes the joy and release from fear at the arrival of the winds so vital for a prosperous voyage. 

These poems of 1795 are traditionally published in tandem. Beethoven chose to put them together musically, perhaps as an allegory of his own musical voyages and becalming deafness. After a soft and static opening, great cries of frustration can be heard from the chorus before the sky brightens and breezes ripple. 

Composer:  Beethoven Wiki Link: Title of Musical Work:  Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage

London Concert Choir concerts featuring this musical work:

(8 July 2010)