Page 251 of 251 FirstFirst ... 151201241247248249250251
Results 3,751 to 3,754 of 3754

Thread: Weekly quartet. Just a music lover perspective.

  1. #3751
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,170
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    It’s interesting. I’m not usually the greatest fan of remorseless, spitfire “fire and fury” Beethoven, a.k.a. Appassionata sonata, Kreutzer sonata, Missa Solemnis, 7th symphony. It’s undoubtedly effective at times, but it sometimes just seems like he’s tastelessly pounding notes down my ears. This is also the reason why the 13th is my favorite of his quartets - as someone pointed out, it’s considerably more lyrical on the whole than the other late quartets. But inexplicably, I absolutely love the Grosse Fuge, finding it one of the great post-Bachian contrapuntal masterpieces. I can’t give a rationale for this - I think it is one of those daring pieces of art that mostly transcends aesthetic explanation - but I’m always blown away when I listen to it. My favorite passage of it is the long lyrical portion after the initial very long eruption, followed by the fugue on the comical clown-like subject. To me the piece almost has a proto-postmodern absurdist vibe to it, like Beethoven is at once lampooning, respecting, overhauling, and apotheosizing the fugue form to its furthest logical point; like Don Quixote did with the chivalric romance, and Tristan und Isolde and Moby-Dick with Romanticism in general. For these reasons I totally see why many don’t prefer it as the finale to the 13th, but I love the jolting transition from the celestial Cavatina to the hammered chords so much that I’m not willing to give up my prejudice and respect Beethoven’s initial decision!

    I’ll write my thoughts on the 13th proper tomorrow after I give some more recordings a go, but I also wanted to link to the exceptionally good Wiki article on the fugue. It’s quite amazing how much discussion and how many critical perspectives it has spawned, and quite amusing how contemporary reactions treated it as “incomprehensible, like Chinese” and “a confusion of Babel” Beethoven also seems to be fertile inspiration in the literary sphere. The late quartets purportedly served as mental bubble gum for T.S. Eliot in crafting his awe-inspiring Four Quartets, while the 5th symphony plays a part in E.M. Forster’s Howards End, and Sylvia Plath (a fantastic poet IMO) references the fugue itself in these stirring lines:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia Plath
    He could hear Beethoven:
    Black yew, white cloud,
    The horrific complications.
    Finger-traps—a tumult of keys.

    Empty and silly as plates,
    So the blind smile.
    I envy big noises,
    The yew hedge of the Grosse Fuge.
    Deafness is something else.
    Such a dark funnel, my father!
    I see your voice
    Black and leafy, as in my childhood.
    Last edited by Allegro Con Brio; Yesterday at 23:58.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

  2. Likes sbmonty liked this post
  3. #3752
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,591
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    It’s interesting. I’m not usually the greatest fan of remorseless, spitfire “fire and fury” Beethoven, a.k.a. Appassionata sonata, Kreutzer sonata, Missa Solemnis, 7th symphony. It’s undoubtedly effective at times, but it sometimes just seems like he’s tastelessly pounding notes down my ears. This is also the reason why the 13th is my favorite of his quartets - as someone pointed out, it’s considerably more lyrical on the whole than the other late quartets. But inexplicably, I absolutely love the Grosse Fuge, finding it one of the great post-Bachian contrapuntal masterpieces. I can’t give a rationale for this - I think it is one of those daring pieces of art that mostly transcends aesthetic explanation - but I’m always blown away when I listen to it. My favorite passage of it is the long lyrical portion after the initial very long eruption, followed by the fugue on the comical clown-like subject. To me the piece almost has a proto-postmodern absurdist vibe to it, like Beethoven is at once lampooning, respecting, overhauling, and apotheosizing the fugue form to its furthest logical point; like Don Quixote did with the chivalric romance, and Tristan und Isolde and Moby-Dick with Romanticism in general. For these reasons I totally see why many don’t prefer it as the finale to the 13th, but I love the jolting transition from the celestial Cavatina to the hammered chords so much that I’m not willing to give up my prejudice and respect Beethoven’s initial decision!

    I’ll write my thoughts on the 13th proper tomorrow after I give some more recordings a go, but I also wanted to link to the exceptionally good Wiki article on the fugue. It’s quite amazing how much discussion and how many critical perspectives it has spawned, and quite amusing how contemporary reactions treated it as “incomprehensible, like Chinese” and “a confusion of Babel” Beethoven also seems to be fertile inspiration in the literary sphere. The late quartets purportedly served as mental bubble gum for T.S. Eliot in crafting his awe-inspiring Four Quartets, while the 5th symphony plays a part in E.M. Forster’s Howards End, and Sylvia Plath (a fantastic poet IMO) references the fugue itself in these stirring lines:
    Just thinking of symphony No.7, never mind the other marvellous works you mention, I really don't think "remorseless" comes into it, never mind 'tasteless pounding'. The elemental rhythm in Beethoven's music is one of the things that sets his music apart from Haydn and Mozart ........
    Last edited by HenryPenfold; Today at 00:47.

  4. #3753
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,170
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    ^Yup, the elemental rhythm is precisely what I have problems with. I’m much more of a harmony, melody, texture person. I recognize I’m in the minority with that opinion about Beethoven though.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

  5. #3754
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,591
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    ^Yup, the elemental rhythm is precisely what I have problems with. I’m much more of a harmony, melody, texture person. I recognize I’m in the minority with that opinion about Beethoven though.
    Glad we're talking about elemental rhythm, not 'tasteless pounding' or remorselessness (avoid Bob Simpson!). Each to his own of course.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •