Sunday, 22 April 2012
Sunday Night is... Beethoven String Quartet Op 132
The Alban Berg Quartet, 2011
The whole of it! 42 minutes! One of my four favourite pieces of chamber music*, perhaps the greatest of them (though I might change my mind tomorrow). It has the depth, the drama, not too many of those grandly assertive statements, not too much of the self, just enough - because the self does, after all, exist. One depth gives way to another. It is almost unbearably moving.
*The others: Schubert Quintet in C (a fine picture of death as you'd have it), Ravel in F (sheer seduction!), Bartók (actually a tough one, maybe no.4, but certainly darkness, certainly melancholy, certainly a welcome spikiness in that witchy pizzicato).
I have never properly 'understood' big orchestral music. Maybe it's because I resist being swept along by things. Maybe one should. But my gut instinct has always been: lean into the wind, go counter.
Lean into the brass too while you're at it. And the strings! Not sure about the percussion. But yes, that particularly.
I'll come back to the subject of Leeds. Not yet finished.