Monday, April 7, 2014

Ludwig Wants Down Off That Pedestal

The thought occurred to me that the reason the three-Beethovens-in-a-row syndrome took hold in the first place is because of the placement of this man upon some mythic pedestal, not just heroic, but supreme, untouched--you get the picture.

The same people who put him up there are shocked at the thought that there is humor in his music, especially in his symphonies.  Beethoven, even at his most serious, was never completely removed from the spirit of irony that underlies so much musical humor.

I recently heard a performance of the Grosse Fuge string quartet.  It couldn't have been a good performance because it was sanctimonious in the extreme.  Sanctimonious and serious are very different things.