Rejected Ending to Scene by the Brook, Sixth Symphony op. 68, Gardi 24 (mp3)
Performer: Mark S. Zimmer
Author: Mark S. Zimmer
The second movement of the Pastoral Symphony, the Scene by the Brook, is familiar to all Beethoven lovers. However, it is not well known that Beethoven changed the ending to this movement just before publication; then he changed his mind again and reverted the ending back to its original form. Presented here is the later ending, picking up with the second set of bird calls. Note that this version returns to the flowing "brook" motif which runs throughout the movement, tying the whole together nicely.
It is not clear why Beethoven decided to return to the original ending. The well-known version is found in the autograph held by the Beethovenhaus, as BH 64, on the front of folio 69. Beethoven then crossed this page out and wrote a new ending (the one presented here) on the back of this same page. He then apparently crossed this new version out, went back to the old one, and wrote "bleibt" across the top, i.e., "remains" or in proofreader's terms, "stet."