Beethoven Quartets

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Beethoven Quartets

A recent discussion, mainly involving Vic, Parla and myself, and which stemmed originally from the 'Seeking God in Classical Music' thread concerned the spirituality et of the late quartets. In a strange congruence of events, tomorrow evening Mission Control and I will be attending a performance of Op 18 No1, Op 95 and the great A minor Op 132. The concert takes place in a church, but in view of the recent unedifying contributions by a well-known (former?) poster, you may understand why a slight chill ran down the spine when recalling the name of the performers.......................the Brodsky Quartet.

JKH

RE: Beethoven Quartets

Doctor Who

RE: Beethoven Quartets

SimonSundstein wrote:

Doctor Who

 

Let's hope the similarity ends there. After all, the sworn enemy of the Daleks does have a tendency to reappear repeatedly in various different guises!

 

JKH

RE: Beethoven Quartets

Perhaps it's a benefit concert. 

If so it will save me the trouble of organising a whip-round for his next tv licence fee as a departing gift.

Vic.

RE: Beethoven Quartets

And that would be a very generous and gracious gesture, Vic. Indeed, a very liberal one. Oh no, what am I saying? Now I'll be nervously scanning the horizon for the arrival of a small blue police box......

Returning to the music, I hadn't forgotten about our discussion about the late quartets, but buiders, plumbers and decorators aren't exactly conducive to the peace and quiet needed to do these works justice. Hopefully tonight will get me back on the straight and narrow, as it were.

JKH

RE: Beethoven Quartets

Enjoy - we'll be awaiting a Parlaesque analysis of every note!

Pause for thought.

RE: Beethoven Quartets

Many thanks, Atonal. I think I would struggle to reach the dizzy heights of Parla's didactic analysis and ex cathedra pronouncements, so these poor words will have to be an inadequate substitute.

I'm always rather wary of concerts in churches, since they are so often acoustically disastrous, but the acoustics here were absolutely superb for a quartet (and, I should have thought, anything up to a small orchestral ensemble). It's curious how often otherwise undistinguished churches can sometimes have this quality - All Saints Tooting, where so many recordings have been made, is another example. (Incidentally, that reminds me of one of the more incongruous sightings when Pavarotti was spotted in the back of a limo waiting at traffic lights at Tooting Broadway)

I'd quite forgotten that the Brodsky (sorry to scare everyone again) performed standing up - I certainly admired their stamina in what was a reasonably long programme, particularly so when they are such an animated group.

And the music? Well, Atonal, your kind injunction to enjoy was only partly achieved, not because of any inadequacy in the performance, but the inadequacy of language to describe the listening experience. Certainly, I enjoyed the Op 18, but as the concert progressed, 'enjoyment' seemed an increasingly inadequate term - certainly so by the time we got to the Op132, which was profoundly moving. The great slow movement (itself taken very slowly by the Brodsky) encompassed a world of pain, joy and resolution that was both profoundly spiritual and deeply, deeply human.

Having read that sentence again, I realise that it's a candidate for Pseud's Corner, but there are pieces where language - at least that at my command - becomes inadequate when trying to describe the effect of such music.

An evening that I am still thinking about and shall remember for a long tim to come.

JKH

RE: Beethoven Quartets

JKH wrote:

Having read that sentence again, I realise that it's a candidate for Pseud's Corner, but there are pieces where language - at least that at my command - becomes inadequate when trying to describe the effect of such music.

There are far bigger pseud's on this forum JKH. Sorry for not responding earlier to your considered post, this topic completely slipped off my radar. 

Glad you enjoyed the concert, does the cellist stand up too? I never realised they stood. Apart from churches having dodgy acoustics if they are also cold a two hour concert can seem an eternity. 

The 0p.132 really is a piece to wrestle with (thanks to Parla for my intro to this work) and as you say the slow movement moves one to other plains. One for me to look out for a live experience.

Pause for thought.

RE: Beethoven Quartets

Since you are convinced, Atonal, for the heights of op. 132, try the pinnacle of Beethoven's Late Quartets, op. 131 in c sharp minor (even the tonality is a challenge), where you have to prove yourself a great "wrestler" to cope with. A work where every single movement counts, culminating in the most amazing and magnificent finale. It's the most progressive of the Quartets, not only of Beethoven but of the whole literature of the String Quartets and Chamber Music alike.

Op. 95 in f minor (a favorite tonality for Beethoven) is the most concise but one of the most powerful Quartets he wrote, worthy of any listening possible, while Op.18, no.1 in F major is the most substantive of the Early String Quartets. The fact of the matter is that the more you can explore - properly (with guidance) - all the Chamber Music output of Beethoven, the more you discover.

If you ever need any other info, I am at your disposal, despite the postcard, received by proxy, in a very distasteful (to say the least) way.

I sincerely hope you may have the chance to listen live op. 132 or op. 131 (that is a challenge for any String Quartet in the world) along with any other work of this great and endless in inspiration composer.

Parla

RE: Beethoven Quartets

Parla wrote:

If you ever need any other info, I am at your disposal, despite the postcard, received by proxy, in a very distasteful (to say the least) way.

Parla, I like you like this. Informative, non-judgemental. The postcard 'by proxy' was just fun. Fun at your expense I know, sadly. You have a lot to give and clearly want to express your knowledge.

Tell us ALL you know but please stop the pedantic verbose, multi-paragraph waffle that has become your trade-mark. Just say what you think ..... we all know 'the Truth'.

Trust in us, we'll trust in you. God knows we've given you time.

Pause for thought.

RE: Beethoven Quartets

Thanks a lot, Atonal, for your eventual kind words, understanding and...tips. I can assure you I will try to follow a different way of approaching you (the members of the forum). However, be assured that I am true to myself and to you as well as the art of Classical Music.

I always trusted and respected you, despite my "verbose" and the other "trade marks" you attributed to me. I sincerely hope you may do the same, sometime. One tip: the more you stick to the music, the more we may avoid frictions of any other kind.

Parla

 

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