Monday, August 6, 2018

'Prelude' for Eric Wagner's new online reading group




[Guest blogger Eric Wagner's online reading group for Joseph Kerman's The Beethoven Quartets begins next week. Here is his preview blog post. Eric is the author of An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson.  He is a schoolteacher (teaching high school English and Latin) who lives in Corona, Calif. Eric also is a James Joyce scholar hard at work on his next book, Straight Outta Dublin.  — The Management]

Prelude

By Eric Wagner

I love bookstores. I fear they will soon become nearly as rare as record stores and video stores. In the early 1980's I found myself browsing at the Arizona State University bookstore, and I came across Erich Leinsdorf's The Composer's Advocate: A Radical Orthodoxy for Musicians. It looked fascinating, so I went over to the library to see if they had a copy. They did, and the book blew me away. I read it a number of times over the next few years, as well as Leinsdorf's autobiography Cadenza.

In the winter of 1990-1991 I found myself looking at classical music in a new way after I began taking ballet classes. I decided to reread The Composer's Advocate, and I also decided to follow up on the nice things Leinsdorf had to say about Joseph Kerman's The Beethoven Quartets. The wonderful ASU library also had a copy of the Kerman book, and the book floored me. At the time I only had cd's of the late quartets, but through the nineties I read the book over and over again and bought cd's of the other quartets as well as the scores of the quartets. I read all of Kerman's other books and loved them, but The Beethoven Quartets has a special place in my heart.

I look forward to reading the book again starting next week and discussing it here at Tom's wonderful blog. Please join in. The book has some technical musical points, but I suspect you will enjoy the book even if you can't read music.

6 comments:

Rarebit Fiend said...

Hey- I'm filling out the form from the WVU library to reserve the Kerman text. I'm sorry if this is already posted somewhere but do we know how many weeks we'll be spending with it?

Thank you!

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

I believe the plan is to run 18 weeks, until Dec. 10. I'm just hoping they let me renew my library book enough times; Clevnet is usually pretty liberal if nobody else wants the book.

Details:

http://www.rawillumination.net/2018/02/online-discussion-group-news.html

Eric Wagner said...

The game plan:

8/13 Week 1 Chapter 1 Op. 18, No. 3
8/20 Week 2 The first half of Chapter 2 Op. 18, No. 1
8/27 Week 3 The second half of Chapter 2 Op. 18, No. 2
9/3 Week 4 The first third of Chapter 3 Op. 18, No. 5
9/10 Week 5 The second third of Chapter 3 Op. 18, No. 4
9/17 Week 6 The final third of Chapter 3 Op. 18, No. 6

9/24 Week 7 Chapter 4 Op. 59, No. 1
10/1 Week 8 The first half of Chapter 5 Op. 59, No. 2
10/8 Week 9 The second half of Chapter 6 Op. 59, No. 3
10/15 Week 10 The first half of Chapter 7 Op. 74
10/22 Week 11 The second half of Chapter 7 Op. 95

10/29 Week 12 Chapter 7
11/5 Week 13 The first half of Chapter 8 Op. 127
11/12 Week 14 The second half of Chapter 8 Op. 132
11/19 Week 15 Chapter 9 Op. 133
11/26 Week 16 The first half of Chapter 10 Op. 130
12/3 Week 17 The second half of Chapter 10 Op. 131
12/10 Week 18 Chapter 11 Op. 135
12/17 Coda

CrypticMusic said...

Hi Eric and Tom, really looking forward to this discussion. I'm hoping to get some inspiration to finish writing my own string quartet, which started life as a miniature for violin and cello called "La Terra Trema." I don't know if RAW had any formal training in music himself, but his descriptions of Siggi Celine's work in The Earth Will Shake always get my creative wheels turning.

https://soundcloud.com/colinmacdonald-1/01-la-terra-trema-mp3
--Colin

Eric Wagner said...


The corrected game plan:

8/13 Week 1 Chapter 1 Op. 18, No. 3
8/20 Week 2 The first half of Chapter 2 Op. 18, No. 1
8/27 Week 3 The second half of Chapter 2 Op. 18, No. 2
9/3 Week 4 The first third of Chapter 3 Op. 18, No. 5
9/10 Week 5 The second third of Chapter 3 Op. 18, No. 4
9/17 Week 6 The final third of Chapter 3 Op. 18, No. 6

9/24 Week 7 Chapter 4 Op. 59, No. 1
10/1 Week 8 The first half of Chapter 5 Op. 59, No. 2
10/8 Week 9 The second half of Chapter 5 Op. 59, No. 3
10/15 Week 10 The first half of Chapter 6 Op. 74
10/22 Week 11 The second half of Chapter 6 Op. 95

10/29 Week 12 Chapter 7
11/5 Week 13 The first half of Chapter 8 Op. 127
11/12 Week 14 The second half of Chapter 8 Op. 132
11/19 Week 15 Chapter 9 Op. 133
11/26 Week 16 The first half of Chapter 10 Op. 130
12/3 Week 17 The second half of Chapter 10 Op. 131
12/10 Week 18 Chapter 11 Op. 135
12/17 Coda

Eric Wagner said...

Cryptic, I agree Bob did a great job with music in The Earth Will Shake.