Tuesday, March 16, 2010

unString Beethoven’s Heiliger Dankgesang op.132

Beethoven String Quartet no.15 in A minor Op.132

Ever wonder what is Beethoven trying to say in his Late quartet no.15 in A minor? In this quartet the third movement alone gone to 18 minutes. And this is exactly what this youtube video lecturing about:
Backed by Stanford University's Ensemble in Residence, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Robert Kapilow, composer and radio commentator, explores the notion of illness as a potent source of creativity (e.g., appreciation for existence) through Beethoven's "Heiliger Dankgesang," which Beethoven wrote in thanksgiving after recovering from a life-threatening illness.

This is a lecture video about that third movement, the name is a bit different from one source to another :

3.Molto Adagio — Andante — Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart (wikipedia)

3. Canzona di ringraziamento offerta alla divinità da un guarito, in modo lidico (Molto adagio) - Sentendo nuova forza (Andante) (Hagen SQ)

I listen to recording by Vermeer Quartet and they are doing it a bit slower than in the video.

In brief, Robert Kapilow pointed out that in this movement the structure is :

Preludes with 8 notes each represented illness condition, this is the main theme.
Go to fast melody represented ‘back to life’ condition
---- A connector
Repeat the preludes with some minor variations
Repeat fast melody ‘ back to life’ II with variations
---- A connector
A Fugue with melody taken from the prelude but only 5 notes adopted from original 8 notes
Merge with fast melody and again adopted three notes from prelude melody
And finally only take 2 notes from prelude as climax.

A great video here

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