late beeth(oven)

"It is subjectivity that forcibly brings the extremes together in the moment, fills the dense polyphony with its tensions, breaks it apart with the unisono, and disengages itself, leaving the naked tone behind; that sets the mere phrase as a monument to what has been, marking a subjectivity turned to stone. The caesuras, the sudden discontinuities that more than anything else characterise the very late Beethoven, are those moments of breaking away; the work is silent at the instant when it is left behind, and turn its emptiness outward."
- Adorno, quoted in 'Thoughts on the Late Style', Edward Said, London Review of Books, 5 August 2004, p3.

Makes my body relive the Late Quartets. I'm thinking particularly of Op. 132 in A minor - Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart' ("Holy Song of Thanksgiving from a Convalescent to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode") - its great central slow movement. I have a great recording of it by The Lindsay Quartet.

Haven't finished the article yet.


Popular Posts

Questions, but no answers: while editing a manuscript

Viva the Real - shortlisted!

‘The fast fold of fret lines’: Intimacy, ecopoetics, and the local