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The Arts

‘Beethoven Walks’ on Hannum Trail extended

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PUTNEY—Yellow Barn is extending its “Beethoven Walks” on the Hannum Trail on Putney Mountain through Labor Day “due to an outpouring of enthusiasm and many requests,” according to a news release.

People who have walked the trail have expressed feeling transported, and shared that it is the first time since the pandemic escalated that they have been able to put it out of their minds, according to the international center for chamber music.

The Hannum Trail walk — and a second, on Greenwood Trail on Putney’s Greenwood School campus, open indefinitely — incorporate reproductions of Beethoven’s sketches, or leaves from his autograph manuscripts, connecting those walking the path with Beethoven’s music, his creative process, and the inspiration he drew from nature.

“These walks open in honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and are dedicated to the world his music shows us is possible,” says Seth Knopp, creator and artistic director.

The project was begun during the collective isolation of COVID-19, “serving a universal need to better understand our humanity through music and the beauty of our world.”

Music posts placed along the path prompt people to listen to Beethoven’s works corresponding with these sketches and manuscripts. These autographs lead hikers along the path, or to Listening Places, which invite more spacious listening and looking.

Music connected to each walk may be purchased and downloaded for either iPhone or Android. IPods with the music for each trail are also available to be signed out by prior arrangement.

The walks are best enjoyed in solitude, with social distancing protocols strongly advised.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #572 (Wednesday, July 29, 2020). This story appeared on page A8.

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