The Convalescent Quartet

The Busch Quartet performance of Beethoven’s A Minor Quartet – I always start at 17:29 -the third movement.

Although I have little technical knowledge of musical form, music plays as large a part in my life as literature. These last few months I’ve revisited pieces that have shaped my love of music.

The entire Op. 132 is characteristic of the unpredictability of late Beethoven, but this third movement, which Beethoven annotated as Hymn of thanksgiving to a deity from a convalescent, written to mark his recovery from a long and debilitating illness, never fails to turn me inside out. The two very fast sections that mark the transition between the three agonizingly slow chorale sections always give me a jolt, but are easily recognisable as the thrill of feeling better after those slow, timeless drowsy days of lying ill.

There is an otherworldly essence to Beethoven’s late quartets that somehow seems to anticipate so much of music to come.

4 thoughts on “The Convalescent Quartet

    • It’s extraordinary, isn’t it? There is no one who pays it better than the Busch Quartet, who manage to play the chorales even slower than anyone else. The faster you play the chorales, the more an underlying hymn becomes evident, which is not the intention.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Time's Flow Stemmed

Post a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.