Kerman Week 3 – Op. 18, No. 2 – The Second Half of Chapter 2By Eric Wagner, guest blogger
[If you arrived late, Eric is leading us in a discussion of Joseph Kerman's book, The Beethoven Quartets. Not too late to get caught up and join in! -- The Management.]
This week please read section three of chapter 2 (pg. 44 – 53) and listen to Op. 18, No. 2. Please comment on this week’s chapter and continue to comment on previous weeks’ chapters.
Pg. 44 – 45. Kerman refers to Haydn’s Op. 33 string quartets. These quartets play an important role in Charles Rosen’ The Classical Style. Maynard Solomon’s Late Beethoven has a interesting survey of attitudes towards Beethoven and the Classical and Romantic periods. Some see Beethoven as a protoromantic. Rosen convincingly shows how Beethoven’s music remained rooted in the classical language of Haydn and Mozart even as he stretched that language to its limits in his late music.
Please post your musical biography this week.
I learned to play piano in third grade, acoustic bass in fourth grade, and flute in fifth grade. I wish I had continued with flute, especially when carrying around acoustic basses for decades. I started guitar in ninth grade, and I played viola de gamba a bit in college. In first grade a teacher played us the slow movement to Haydn’s Surprise Symphony, and I loved it. I grudgingly liked Beethoven because he had studied with Haydn. In fourth or fifth grade I discovered Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries” in a collection of light classical music my parents owned. I liked that he had the same last name as me. In junior high I had an eight-track tape of famous Beethoven piano sonatas.
The summer after my first year of college I had a cold and stayed home from work one day. I put on Toscanini’s recording of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. I don’t think I’d ever heard it before, and it blew me away. That fall I started hanging out a lot with pianist Jai Jeffreys, and he really deepened my understanding of Beethoven. A year and a half later I started reading Robert Anton Wilson, and his writings on Beethoven changed me forever.