Commemorative Cover

Robert Burns
and Beethoven

Robert Burns and Beethoven. If it moves you it has soul.
Ludwig van Beethoven's music expresses every kind of emotion, from the passionate to the tender.

He plays with our emotions; not for him the easy-to-listen-to baroque style.

The titles of his works testify to the emotional qualities of his music, The Heroic, Pastoral, Apassionata, Emperor, Pathetique, in all he teases our senses.

He also wrote for an astounding array of instruments in his concertos but his range also included sonatas, symphonies, overtures, quartets and others, reaching the heights in each musical form.

Unlike Mahler, we do not need to listen to Beethoven over and over again to understand the mood or the music.

So also with Burns.
His range and ability is vast, including narrative, satire, biography, autobiography, epistles, songs and letters, also all reaching the heights.

In Burns' works we do not have to think too deeply about what he is trying to say but he likewise plays with our emotions.
He makes us laugh, he makes us cry, we feel anger or frustration at Holy Willie. We laugh at Tam but feel the fear of the witches in Alloway Kirk. Our heart strings pull at Ae Fond Kiss or My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose. A Man's A Man is the Marsellaise of humanity and Auld Lang Syne, the world's National Anthem, is full of nostalgia.

They both lived through the French Revolution and believed passionately in the French ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. They both wrote, not for the church or the aristocracy, as most before them had done, but for people everywhere and for posterity as well as their own time.

At its best, a Burns Supper also plays with our emotions. In one evening is compressed the gamut of life's experience, from the serious thought of the Immortal Memory, through the wit and satire of the Toast to the Lassies and the reply, the sentiment of the songs and the emotion of the fiddle playing, to the fun or philosophy of the poems.

Return to middle of Page

Burns Importance to Scotland and to Scots the World Over

Burns and 18th Century Oppression

Burns and the Scottish Dialect.

Burns the Patriot Bard

Essay Page
For other Articles

Return to the Launch Pad
Where you can then enter
The World of Burns
The Burns Supper
Analysis of Poems
Stories behind the Songs
Glasgow Connections
Search Page

usb hub
Click Here