String Quartet, Opus 59, no 3 – Beethoven

by richibi

view-from-the-small-warmbrunn-sturmhaube.jpg!Large

    “View from the Small Warmbrunn Sturmhaube (1811) 

           Caspar David Friedrich

                  _____________

                                               for Joselyn

because I hadn’t been that enthralled with 
Beethoven’s Middle Period string quartets,
when Joselyn called and asked me what I 
was up to, I answered, a hiatus, honey, I’m 
experiencing a hiatus

I’d heard the first movement of Beethoven’s
Opus 59, no 3, the last Razumovsky, and had
been less than impressed, the next movement 
could, if she could entice me, wait 

well, she said, get your hiatus right down
here, let’s have a game of Scrabble, she 
lives in the building a few floors down

she beat me, as she always does, often 
trounces me, but it is a distraction from 
my other more philosophical, intellectual, 
pursuits, however much it might inform
them

the Opus 59, no 3, is not, for me, 
especially convincing, as are none of the 
string quartets until the 14th, but they are 
historically significant, having changed 
the very course of music since, they’re 
worth, consequently, a visit

you’ll note that you don’t sit back to listen
to Beethoven, you sit up, this is not 
entertainment, it is a proclamation, 
Beethoven arrests your attention, doesn’t 
court it, this is not, in the new era, chamber
music, as we call it still, it is music for the 
stage, an audience, see Paganini for more  
proof, if you need it, of that

Beethoven takes a trinket and explores it,
a motive, if you will, applies volume to it,
changes of pace, changes of tonality, 
eccentric rhythms, to eventually lose one
in a world of, if not confusion, 
enchantment, usually, with a few deft 
musical turns, enchantment, a somnolent
adagio, for instance, becomes a profoundly
seductive tune, for an however brief moment 

later, he will utterly, and constantly, inspire, 
during his, indeed oracular, Late Period

but other miracles will transpire before that, 
of which I’ll, assuredly, keep you posted


R ! chard

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