“It was one of the last pieces of music
he wrote… He was deaf when he wrote it…
And he wrote it as a thanksgiving to God for his life”,
as Rupert says at the end of the video of my previous post,
referring to the slow movement of
Beethoven’s Opus 132,
and I love how the amazing
Ying Quartet continue playing after
the lights briefly fade to darkness as a tribute to this.
Some two years before he died [Source of this paragraph], having just recovered from a serious intestinal illness, Ludwig van Beethoven composed a long movement for string quartet, which he called “Holy Song of Thanksgiving of a Convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian Mode” (“Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart“). He used the piece as the third movement of his five-movement String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132. The movement, marked molto adagio (“very slow”), alternates between two sections: a chorale (in modal F) and a faster section in D major, which Beethoven labeled “with renewed strength.” Beethoven’s string quartets (sixteen of them) are considered by many connoisseurs to be among the greatest artistic achievements of man, and this particular movement is held by some to be perhaps the single greatest work of genius ever composed. Breathtaking in its delicate beauty, it suggests not merely a hymn to God, but perhaps a quiet conversation between God and a man making his peace with his Creator despite the deafness with which he has been cursed.