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I try in my prose-poetic discussion of any music to relate it to the contemporary situation in the world when the piece was written and to my own life.


In the years that Shaykh Ahmad was preparing to leave for Persia and was initially residing there, 1804 to 1807, Beethoven’s imagination was functioning at its full power and his creative genius produced: symphonies 4,5 and 6, the Appassionata Sonata, Fidelio, the Leonore Overtures, the G major piano concerto, and the three Rasoumorsky Quartets. Indeed, other pieces both before and after this fertile period, when seen in the light of the life of “that luminous Star of Divine guidance”-the founder of the school of Shaykism in Islam--can be seen in a majestic perspective, something quite out of the ordinary, something heroic and unique, like the initial notes of some great announcement, like “Fate knocking at the door,” as Beethoven described the first movement of his Fifth Symphony written during the years 1804 to 1808. --Ron Price with thanks to Nabil, The Dawbreakers, Wilmette,1974(1932), p.1.

Something out of the ordinary,
to say the least
and I don’t think he had any idea
the source of the universal emotions,
the mighty conceptions,
the poetic forms,
the tenderness,
the undeveloped themes,
the rough diamonds,
the spaciousness, the quietude,
the bizarre and the harsh
that was born in his mind.

The beginnings of
an unerring vision,
a fixed purpose,
a sublime detachment,
the first pioneer,
bidden by Providence,
with a crushing sense
of responsibility to prepare
the way for a new Revelation,
with an irrespressible yearning,
eager to unburden his soul,
he searched zealously
and a new music rose up
in the world, such was the effect,
such was the Cause.

Ron Price
27 August 2002
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