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Arnold Schoenberg Arnold Schoenberg

Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21
You've got to shake your fists at lightning now
You've got to roar like forest fire
You've got to spread your light like blazes all across the sky
They're going to aim the hoses on you, show 'em you won't expire
Not till you burn up every passion, not even when you die
Come on now, you've got to try
If you're feeling contempt, well then you tell it
If you're tired of the silent night, Jesus, well then you yell it
Condemned to wires and hammers, strike every chord that you feel
That broken trees, and elephant ivories conceal
Joni Mitchell, Judgement Of The Moon And Stars (Ludwig's Tune)

Beethoven, String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 74, “Harp”

April 22nd, 2012

Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827

String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 74, “Harp”, 1809

Ludwig van BeethovenIts feels that Beethoven’s “Harp” quartet is somehow overlooked. A definite “middle period” work, it is followed quickly by the more innovative “Serioso” and then the late quartets, and it is preceded by the more landmark “Razumovsky” quartets of just a few years earlier. Even the earliest Op. 18 quartets appear more frequently on concert stages. Yet Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major is a glorious work: full, rich and befitting the middle period character known as “Eroica.” Bountiful, beneficent, lavish and even sensuous, the “Harp” even features a dash of impressionistic pointillism with the first movement’s elegant pizzicato sections giving rise to the quartet’s historical nickname. Each of the four movements is a uniquely shaped touchstone of the multi-movement sonata form types and there is an overarching vector of momentum that joins these movements into a miraculous unity of purpose, design and expression. With its prevailing vitality, heart, invention and accessibility, one is almost tempted to call this Beethoven’s most “perfect” quartet. And yet, it is devilish to play. « more »

Exploring the String Quartet—The First 250 Years

Exploring the String QuartetSince its birth around 1760, the string quartet has maintained a vital and profound hold on composers, players and listeners: it has been the vehicle par excellence for a rich continuum of some of the finest music composed throughout the last 250 years. Across time, nationality, and centuries of changing style, the string quartet has formed the backbone of small ensemble chamber music with a rich lore. Music for the string quartet consistently features lyrical beauty, complex harmony, intense passion, powerful rhythm and elegant formal design. From the most intimate personal expression to the most brilliant virtuosity, from the ancient and otherworldly to edgy grooves of the present day, the string quartet appears to be an infinitely flexible ensemble engaging great composers and performers in one of the richest living traditions of music in all of history. For many, if not most, however, it a rarely encountered “hidden” genre, while historically, culturally, musically, for others, it is the mother lode. Take some time to discover this stunning genre, the heart of the matter. Explore

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earsense celebrates and explores how music makes "sense" with a focus on the extraordinary genre of chamber music. The centerpiece of earsense is a comprehensive database of chamber music composers, works, events and related media.


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