Each month, Fnac and Vialma, the benchmark for classical and jazz music streaming, present a carefully concocted playlist, according to a particular theme. The opportunity to highlight known tracks, rare treasures, calm beaches, but also extreme pieces.
At a time when nature is adorning itself with its most beautiful colors and donning its winter garb, what could be better than a breath of fresh air? This month’s playlist is devoted to the wedding between classical music and Nature: immerse yourself in the sounds of the forest, walk against the icy winds, celebrate the course of the seasons and face the storms… Classical music has found thousands of ways to paint nature. From the gentle tranquility to the unleashing of the elements, let yourself be invited on a journey…
Discover a first emblematic work and extend the listening on Vialma
Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt, prelude to Act IV “The Morning”
Famous orchestral prelude, The morning does not, however, describe the cold plains of Norway but rather the oppressive heat of Morocco at daybreak. Revolving around an unforgettable melody sung alternately on woodwinds and strings, Edvard Grieg made of this excerpt from Peer Gynt a summit of invocation to Nature, of superb tranquillity, repeated hundreds of times in the cinema!
All tracks from our nature classic playlist
Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Standard-bearer of all classical music, The four Seasons ofAntonio Vivaldi still strike three centuries later with a brilliant combination of technical virtuosity and musical figuralism. Everything is just a striking image: the celebrations of spring, the tremors of cold in winter, the hunt in autumn or the famous summer storm have become so many hits that have delighted so many industries and covers!
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”
Unusually calm in the symphonic production of Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” strives to form impressions of calm and introspective joy. With the exception of a storm temporarily disrupting this stay, this luminous work transcribes all the beauties of the countryside, from the Edenic tranquility of a stream to rustic peasant bourrées.
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 3
Mammoth-symphony supposed to be the musical equivalent of a pantheistic Nature, the Symphony No. 3 of Gustav Mahler explodes durations for total immersion. Crossing the religious and the profane, this work is an immense race of pagan gods, angelic choirs, Nietzschean invocations, ending with a large final Adagio, one of the most sublime divine elevations ever composed by the hand of man.
Antonin Dvorak: Overture “In Nature” op. 91
1er part of a trilogy, The opening “Into the Wild” ofAntonin Dvorak bathes in an almost childish exultation in front of the wonders of the planet. Imprinted with attachment to the Moravian landscapes, driven by a main theme of quiet joy, the opening reads like a bucolic tableau where visions and feelings of joy are linked together.
Claude Lejeune: Revecy coming from spring
Looking for five skipping voices, Revecy coming of spring is a delight of harmony and counterpoint where Claude Lejeune intertwines songs and counter-songs in a vocal intoxication in the verses, and brings out a heady melody on a joyful bass impetus. A salute to euphoric Spring, and one of the most charming musical eclogues.
Reinhold Glière: Symphony No. 3 “Ilya Muromets”, 2e movement
The bogatyr Ilya Muromets goes deep into a dark forest to kill the brigand Soloveï. Epic work with a gigantic orchestra, the Symphony No. 3 “Ilya Muromets” is a fiery torrent of inspiration signed by this unknown genius that is Reinhold Glière. In this 2e 25-minute movement, Glière draws with an astonishing mimicry the threats and noises of a magical forest to the mortal resident, an adventure with a thousand dangers and as many rich orchestral colors between the warrior and the sylvan brigand.
Edouard Lalo: Overture to Namouna
Introduction to hypnotizing orchestration, theOpening of Namouna is not only the splendid beginning of one of the most magnificent French ballets, it is also a majestic hymn to Nature thanks to its ample and generous main theme. Its slow crescendo of great nobility seizes the heart as much as its climax when the brass carries the theme to solar splendors. Absolute masterpiece ofEdward Lalo.
Jean Sibelius: The Wood Nymph
Nature side darkness. In this tragic symphonic poem, John Sibelius tells the terrible adventure of a carefree young man seduced by a nymph. The creature will destroy him by tearing away all possibility of loving, condemning him to eternal solitude. With The wood nymphJean Sibelius sings the charms of the forest, the joy of love freed from social constraints, before the devastating final funeral march, one of the most heartbreaking musical pages ever composed, a requiem establishing the domination of a sometimes cruel Nature against the human.
Richard Strauss: An Alpine Symphony
A day of hiking in the mountains, but with an orchestra of 160 musicians. This is the program ofAn Alpine symphony. In 22 short linked movements, Richard Strauss composes an immense panegyric that the silence of the night opens and closes, not without going through the nitescence of the landscapes, the roar of the waterfalls, the thunder, the fields of flowers and the glaciers. Change of scenery guaranteed!
Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 1 “Springtime”
The spring of love and of the seasons. The Symphony No. 1 “Spring” of Robert Schuman is an apology for the vitality of an ever-young Nature. From the initial call of the trumpets sounding the end of winter to the hectic joy that runs through the rest of the work, this passionately romantic and optimistic symphony is one of the most frantic testimonies of Man’s gratitude in the face of the Nature.
Arthur Honegger: Overture for The Tempest
A din of dissonances, supercharged percussion and howling rockets, this is the recipe for a surge of sound of rare violence to depict the maritime storm opening Shakespeare’s play. But’Opening for the Storm ofArthur Honegger is also a striking expressionist painting where lightning, rumblings and winds are illustrated with a subtle sense of detail. Precise and flamboyant.
Emmanuel Chabrier: Pastoral Suite
A sort of pastoral symphony in miniature, Emmanuel Chabrier prints on his Pastoral Suite an astonishing mix of subtle impressionism and fresh rusticity. From the sophisticated harmonic colors of the undergrowth to the plebeian peasant dance, this rustic window delights the ears in four movements of smiling inspiration, without shadow or drama.
Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 3 “Espansiva”, 2e movement
Long pastoral beach like a spiritual dialogue between humans and Nature, the 2e movement of the Symphony No. 3 “Espansiva” of Carl Nielsen is a miracle of orchestration in shaded and diffuse colors. The intervention of two wordless solo voices adds to the heavenly atmosphere of this singular movement.
Ralph Vaughan-Williams: Sinfonia Antarctica
Reworking of film music, the Sinfonia Antarctica evokes the icy deserts of the uninhabited continent and the rare explorers who walked on the endless ice floes. Ships on icy waters, whirlwinds of snow, slow stretch of time… Ralph Vaughan-Williams delivers a sensory meditation on this wild country from which he draws all the mystery that it still closes.