As the home to 7.7 billion people, the Earth deserves its own holiday! It highlights the need to preserve Mother Nature and celebrates the ways communities are making an effort to protect her resources. Here are some classical pieces to listen to get your green thumb ready.
Haydn’s large oratorio piece The Creation is a musical interpretation of the Bible’s creation story. Influenced in part by Handel, the composition involved 120 musicians and 60 singers for its 1799 premiere. The first part of the piece focuses on the creation of heaven, earth, sun and moon, the lands and water, and flora.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven was a nature lover, and his sixth symphony – also called “Pastoral” – depicts the joy of nature. The five movements include depictions of a scene by a brook and a thunderstorm. The euphoric feeling of being close to nature is depicted in the first and last movements, where the composer wanted us to ‘feel’ one with nature.
Wagner loved the outdoors, and frequently took in a stroll for inspiration. Based in the Swiss Alps, the Sihl Valley inspired him to compose “Forest Murmurs” for his opera, Siegfried. The beauty and munificence of the Swiss Alps greatly influenced him when he wrote “Entry of the Gods into Valhalla” for Das Rheingold.
Debussy’s works are very much tied to nature in varying degrees. In Les colonies d’Anacapri, he sought to capture the beauty of landscapes; Debussy relived nature’s drama in pieces like Nuages. La Mer was completed while Claude was at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, on the English Channel. One can hear the serenity and majesty of the waves in his water-themed work.
Hans Zimmer composed the music for Sir David Attenborough’s 2017 docu-series on marine biology. The programme’s ‘Blue Planet’ impact has since raised awareness of marine conservation in the UK and abroad. Zimmer’s Emmy-nominated soundtrack used the artistic technique of pointillism – tiny dots of color that form an image – for the soundtrack. By giving sections shorter plucks of strings and bows, Zimmer was able to create a sense of movement that weaves through the entire composition. The result? A “tidal orchestra” that accompanies and enhances the movement of marine life in their natural habitat.