Beethoven Strinq Quartet no 14, opus 131‏

if Beethoven had written merely one transcendental
work we would still have been beholden, but that he
wrote neither two, nor three, but several immutable
pieces is extraordinary, super-, apparently, human,
though, of course, manifestly not, unless you want
to bring Jesus into the picture as such a dual being,
then we’ll talk, but Beethoven is a staunchly secular
voice, devoid of the spiritual considerations of a
Bach, for instance, Beethoven speaks for humanity,
its longings, consternations, aspirations, its essence,
no longer the discredited primacy of the Cross and
Its imperial derivatives, Human Rights have trumped
God

what Beethoven maintains however is the reverence,
his later pieces – you’ve heard the Hammerklavier“,
already, the 32nd piano sonata – are manifestly
spiritual experiences, as opposed to religious

the 14th String Quartet will do the same

if the Hammerklavier is akin to Moses delivering
his peremptory tablets, the 14th String Quartet is
the Sermon on the Mount, in the history of music
they have so great an impact

briefly, as briefly as I can, I’ll say a few introductory
words, then let your soul and the music do the rest,
see what happens to your karma

there are seven movements in the 14th, uninterrupted,
no pauses between the movements, though each is
easily identifiable, tempo therefore becomes incidental
instead of Classically ordered, the first movement, for
instance, is an adagio, a Classically improbable spot

the sections therefore play much as chapters in a
novel, advancing according to the logic and emotions
of the moment, always, as in all of Beethoven, moving
inexorably forward despite the intricacies of the, not at
all predictable, plot, as had been the case in the more
regimented Classical model, Beethoven takes you,
instead of around the corner, into the clouds, into a
spiritualized heaven, a place of profound existential
introspection

try listening to the 14th String Quartet attentively
without thinking about your soul, its existence,
its mission, in the very face of its ineradicable,
and fateful, actuality, the human conundrum,
Beethoven lets us know we’re not alone

some mountaintop Sermon indeed, watch what
happens to your sensibility, your very sacred
self, or maybe I should say, listen

may your path be decked meanwhile with laurels,
and your days be blessed with grace, be it ever
so merely, maybe, human

who knows

sincerely

Richard

psst: if you’ll allow me to pursue my series of
similarities you’ll imagine piano sonata
no 32
as Beethoven’s “Last Supper”,
this one in particular five luminous stars