Alpine Symphony


audioclip Listen to Lautebrunnen



Digital Symphony No. 4

Composed and performed by
Don Robertson

1. Lauterbrunnen (16:17)
2. Vierwaldstättersee (10:50)
3. Lac Léman (10:37)
4. Tribschen (16:48)

Total Time: 54:32 minutes


Don Robertson's "Alpine Symphony" - Digital Symphony No. 4

I composed and recorded Alpine Symphony in the fall of 1999, after returning from my first trip to Switzerland in forty years. The four movements of Alpine Symphony encapsulate my impressions of four magical places that Mary Ellen and I discovered.

First Movement - Lauterbrunnen - From the Swiss town of Interlaken, Mary Ellen and I road the Berner-Oberland-Bahnen meter-gauge railroad through the beautiful Swiss countryside where goats grazed on the grassy hillsides. Soon the train arrived in the little town of Lauterbrunnen at the foot of a rock-faced mountain over which spill a magnificent waterfall.

Second Movement - Vierwaldstättersee - The rippling water of the great Swiss lake, Vierwaldstättersee (Lake of the Four Cantons) touches the shores of the beautiful city of Luzern. Beholding the majesty of this great body of water and the surrounding mountains is a breath-taking and unforgetable experience.

Third Movement - Lac Léman - This is the great body of water that serves the Swiss cities of Geneve and Lausanne.This beautiful lake and the beauty of the surrounding area, touched by the soft tones of the French-speaking people, give rise to feelings of tenderness and grace.

Forth Movement
- Tribschen - This is the name that was given to a three-story home that lies just outside of Luzern on the shores of Vierwaldstattersee. It was in this home, overlooking the lake and the beautiful mountain peaks that surround it, that Richard Wagner completed Die Meistersinger and Siegfried, then composed Gotterdämmerung, the Kaisermarsch and Siegfried-Idyll. The fourth movement of the Alpine Symphony is dedicated to the great (and misunderstood) dramatic composer Richard Wagner and to this wonderful Swiss home that is now the Wagner Museum of Luzern.  Click here to view our photos of Tribschen,

Switzerland - Summer, 1999
Photography by Mary Ellen Bickford


This is the beautiful town of Grindelwald, Switzerland. It was a slightly overcast day.

This is the railroad station in Grindelwald for BOB, the Berner-Oberland-Bahnen meter-gauge railroad

One of BOB's goods cars.

Mary Ellen took this photo from the train as it was leaving Grindelwald.

Along the line, we pass an incoming train

Gently grazing animals

That's me taking videos and drinking in the beauty.

A little cabin seen from the train



This is railroad station in Wengen. There were no auto roads into this town, and thus the train was well-used. The rack and pinon (cog) railway that serves this town is the Wengernalpbahn

An incoming train enters Wengen.

As the train left Wengen, Mary Ellen took this photo.

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