Covering polyamory, psychopaths in power and politics, Arab Spring (Winter?), Wikileaks, and Capitalism, this discussion is a year old, but very interesting. The panelists are hilarious, offering intelligent, insightful views. Definitely worth a watch.
Beethoven’s last piano sonata, Op. 111, movement II: Arietta
Hearing this work by pianist Anton Kuerti this afternoon, I realized just how important the role of music is in my life. Music is my life. The Arietta is a testament to the beauty of absolute music that moves the heart. It embodies the history of music up to the year of its composition, the rejection of all established musical convention, the existence of a higher truth that is music. Its beauty is unparalleled. There isn’t a more perfect composition. Or, at least, that’s what I felt when I heard it. It is nothing; it is all.
A truly overwhelming concert experience revealed the highest form of human pleasure - a combination of emotional stimulation and complete intellectual fulfillment and realization - that lasted for a quarter of an hour. The result was a feeling of utter satisfaction and self-actualization. It was a moment that transcended our earthly world. I experienced an ecstasy, a complete harmony - with the world I know and with myself - that I have never felt before. For those fleeting minutes and for some time thereafter, I was at one.
Claude Monet, Poplars on the Epte, 1891
The caption for this painting from the National Galleries of Scotland says, “This is a work from Monet’s celebrated series of poplar paintings made between the spring and autumn of 1891, the year after he had settled in Giverny. He used a boat as a floating studio and captured beautifully the shimmering effects of sunlight on water. The trees were ready to be sold for timber, but Monet, in partnership with a timber merchant, bought the trees at auction so that he could continue painting them.”
How could I have only just now come across this great classical masterpiece?
Haydn’s oratorio, Die Schöpfung (The Creation)
Truly an exceptional work.
Schubert’s Death and the Maiden quartet, movement 1, arranged for chamber orchestra
I love it when I fall in love with a piece of music and then find out it’s one of the composer’s more famous works. It’s reassuring that I can pick out a masterpiece without knowing its status beforehand. It reconfirms my trust in the standard repertoire. The works of music I have been exposed to aren’t randomly assigned the label of masterpiece. There must be some level of inherent beauty or profundity when contemplated aesthetically and in the framework of the established conventions of Western music (which come from…?). Like with Bach’s Chaconne from his second violin partita, I recently discovered the second movement of this Schubert quartet, which unfortunately is lacking in terms of quality recordings online. The first movement posted here will have to suffice - the energy and power of the entire chamber orchestra coupled with the clarity of this recording make it a worthwhile hearing.
Bruckner Symphony No. 6, I. Maestoso
[must listen to the first two minutes and from 13:00 on]
This is my last week in Vienna, and officially the end of my semester abroad. The past six months have been so gratifying, recently capped off with Barenboim’s Bruckner cycle at the Musikverein.
This music, the kind that stirs your heart in such a way that forces you to feel the religion with which Bruckner composed, can move the human soul in such a way that it floats, towering above life - outside of it - monumental .
In honor of Beethoven, I post this, the last movement he ever composed, which happens to be the source of this blog’s title.
Beethoven, String Quartet in F, Op. 135: IV. Grave, ma non troppo tratto- Allegro - Grave, ma non troppo tratto - Allegro
Today was the 185th Anniversary of Beethoven’s death. As I am currently in Vienna, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit his grave. I took the picture you see here.
Johannes Brahms, Waltz, Op. 39 No. 15, in A flat