‘Almighty one, in the forest! I am happy, blissful in the forest: every tree speaks through Thee.’ Beethoven jotted down these poetic words on a sheet of manuscript paper while out walking on the Kahlenberg in the Vienna Woods in September 1815. The final phrase, ‘every tree speaks through Thee’, evinces Beethoven’s Romantic belief in the oneness of creation, in which the ‘soulful trees’ signal the unity of God, humanity and nature.
This concert illuminates Beethoven’s philosophy of nature through a reading of Jean Giono’s fable The Man who Planted Trees (1953), a remarkable story of a lone man, Elzéard Bouffier, who selflessly transforms the lives of others by the simple act of planting trees.
Drawing us deeper into the heart and mind of this extraordinary character and allowing us time to reflect on his actions, the story will be illustrated with the music of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Satie, Schoenberg, Fazil Say and more performed by players of Hugo Ticciati’s Swedish-based O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra.