Monday, April 20, 2015

Thank you my God!

Beethoven puts this "thank you" into music. He entitles a passage of his 15th string quartet (opus 132): "A Convalescent's Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity" (Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit). The entire third movement of this quartet, one of the last ones, composed one year after the creation of the Ninth Symphony, is a long meditation interrupted with moments of joy expressed by a faster tempo and a more joyful tone. The convalescent who thanks God is none other than Beethoven himself, who had been seriously ill in the months that preceded the creation of the work, in September 1825. We must listen to these brilliant fifteen minutes as a prayer. Here is the version – probably one of the best – of the Alban Berg Quartet.


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