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For more than 25 years, the musician and photographer Tobias Melle has been engaged in the visualization of symphonic music – his “Symphonies in Pictures” are performed internationally with renowned orchestras and conductors. An outstanding feature of his work is the structurally and emotionally coherent translation of musical contexts into associative image sequences. The visual voice composed in this way to the sound of the orchestra is performed in person and live – like a musical soloist, he adapts to the conductor’s interpretation.
On the occasion of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, he dedicated himself to his sixth symphony from 1808, the Pastorale. This epithet stands for the rural, natural environment that city dwellers encounter in this music.
The movement titles tell a little story. It begins with the awakening of serene feelings upon arrival in the country. It is not about the countryside, it is about the “cheerful”, the happy and positive feelings that the visitor feels in the face of a peaceful, pristine nature. The second movement is a scene by the brook, and even though we hear the water murmuring and birdsong singing, the music does not intend to illustrate, but to let us feel the liveliness of nature – alternating between flowing and pausing. Only the third movement, The Merry Gathering of the Country Folk, is more striking. Here, among other things, a village band is caricatured and the man in the country is drawn benevolently and ironically. In the fourth movement, “Donner. Sturm” bursts in. The music is, for its time, a composed chaos. This is also the underlying mood: uncertainty and fear in the face of the raging forces of nature. In the final movement, shepherds’ songs resound. Happy and grateful feelings after the storm. In the idyllic imagination of early romanticism, shepherds stand for a rural harmony of man, animals and nature. And thankfulness here is the felt humility of having escaped the unpredictable forces of nature.
Two hundred years ago the “division of roles” between man and nature was clear. Man can enjoy the beauties and reap the fruits, but there are limits to all his striving, the forces of nature are unpredictable and limitless. Based on this premise, Tobias Melle transposes Beethoven’s encounter with nature into the present with his photographs. Unfortunately, we lull ourselves into the false security of dominating the world. First and foremost, we do not destroy “creation” and not “nature”, but nothing else but our own basis of life. And in the end, if we do not give in, we destroy ourselves.
The beauty of nature will persist. For the survival of us humans we have to take care of ourselves.
For each sold Blu-ray a new tree is planted