Beethoven’s love of nature shines through in his Sixth Symphony. The opening Awakening of Cheerful Feeling upon Arriving in the Country is followed by the aptly flowing grace of a Scene by the Brook, complete with calls of a nightingale, quail and cuckoo. The Merry Assembly of Country Folk is interrupted by a violent thunderstorm, but soon a mood of serenity is restored by the final, uplifting Shepherds’ Song of Thanksgiving. Wagner’s comic opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is his most human, with no gods, potions or mythical journeys. Inspired by the real 16th century Master Singer’s Guild of Nuremberg and their famous songwriting competitions, the story is a metaphor for Wagner’s own musical struggle.