• Britta Byström
  • A Walk to Beethoven (2019)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 1+pic.2.2.2/
  • 11 min

Programme Note

My musical “Walks” form a series of - up to now - 15 works, all of them composed during the last three years. The first Walks, for string orchestra, were written in order to connect the pieces in a concert programme, where my violin concerto was combined with Britten’s Frank Bridge Variations and Biber’s Battaglia. On that occasion, I wrote A Walk to Britten and A Walk to Biber - one minute pieces which, on a background of ’wandering’ pizzicato playing, included small quotes from the piece which was to follow.

Since then, many other Walks have followed, from one to ten minutes in length, written for everything from viola- and double bass duet to symphonic wind orchestra. The concept, though, has remained the same: it is always a rhythmical music which serves as an introduction to another composer’s work. The idea is to take a musical stroll, during which you can catch a glimpse of the next work on the programme, similar to when from far away, one can discern the silhouette of an approaching town.

A Walk to Beethoven is a walk to Beethoven’s Symphony no. 7. It is the main theme of the second movement that you can discern in my piece. I chose that theme partly because I just love it, partly because it has within itself a wandering pace.

A Walk to Beethoven consists of 14 small parts (played without breaks). I do not regard it as 14 variations; it is rather 14 different versions, like 14 flowers grown from the same musical seed. Or maybe: like 14 different paths, all leading to Beethoven.



  • Travels in Music – The walks of Britta Byström
    • Travels in Music – The walks of Britta Byström
    • Britta Byström has composed around 20 pieces with some variation of ‘walk’ since 2015 – from small pieces for duo instruments to large scale orchestral works, these walks are musical conversations with the greatest of the classical composers.

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