Friday Classical Dump

While no one’s paying attention, I’ll slip in another elitist post. I went to see this ensemble last night, and it was a smoker of a performance of Schubert, Bartok, and Beethoven Op. 131. I think these groups relax and take more risks when playing in backwater towns like Memphis, and the results are often tremendous. The cellist might look like an assistant night manager at Kroger, but musically he’s a badass; he was pushing them all to the brink in the Beethoven. Here they are in 2nd mvmt. of Beethoven Op.135. I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say it again: the late Beethoven string quartets and piano sonatas, at 200 years old, are still ahead of the times.

3 Replies to “Friday Classical Dump”

    1. Probably. He had to work harder than a more naturally talented genius like Mozart, but I usually prefer his unconventionality and lack of compromise. I also like his range, from beautiful to “fuck you.” Nothing like a good musical middle finger, be it from Beethoven, Mahler, or the Sex Pistols. And here’s a timely one: Shostakovich’s middle finger to Stalin.

      And then there’s the Grosse Fuge, which has come up here before. It ain’t pretty. It’s downright nasty, but it’s pure genius.

      String quartets separate the greats from the wannabes. There are no orchestral effects or piano pyrtotechnics to hide behind. They live or die by musical ideas and how skillfully the composer handles them between instruments. There’s no faking; any padding is painfully obvious. Mozart could dash off masterpieces from the top of his head, but he actually put hard work into his quartets.

  1. Thanks. After watching this I briefly became more contemplative and was told that I began to exhibit “dignity” and “refinement.”

    To counteract such unsettling change, I watched a youtube influencer unwrap toys and yell about them. When that failed, I went to Twitter.
    Immediately my brain was mac & cheese. It felt like home.

    It’s all about balance. Serenity now.

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