The First Symphony


Beethoven’s starting point in composing his symphonies was the third work in my painting project. As it was not well known to me, I felt a need to know more about the music so I listened to recorded lectures of the American composer and professor Robert Greenberg“The Symphonies of Beethoven”1. As a composer himself and Beethoven enthusiast, he provided detailed insight into the music: far more than I could make use of in my paintings. I chose a whitish background for the First Symphony. I was saying, Dzfrom this spot anything might happendz! Even after I learned more about the music I stuck to my sketches. If anyone can see signs in the paintings that indicate the work is an early or late symphony; the music has spoken directly and not through my conscious knowledge.Having chosen the whitish background, in theory it should not be too difficult to fill in other colours. But the colour composition was not easy. How should I communicate this quite uncomplicated music? I didn’t formulate that question when I worked but I can see the answer in the finished painting.Having earlier experienced that my unconscious was able to handle sensory impressions, every day during my work on the paintings I listened to the actual music. That meant that I heard the music of every symphony many times! (And I didn’t get tired of any of them!)