Beethoven enjoyed the countryside, away from the hustle and bustle of Vienna. Communicating with people had become difficult for him, but not so with nature, and he celebrated the forests and rustic villages in his Symphony No. 6, the Pastorale.
To Ralph Vaughan Williams, quiet fields brought another picture to mind: the battlefields of post-World War I France. He was quite familiar with those fields when they weren't so quiet, and he wrote his Symphony No. 3, the Pastoral (without an "e"), to reflect upon what had transpired there.