Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:39 am

I can't get enough of this work, I am currently listening to the Talich Quartet play it. Written following his recovery from an intestinal illness that very nearly killed him, this meditative thanksgiving to the Divinity for his life is in my opinion one of the most sublime musical utterances ever committed to paper by man. The Molto adagio sections contain some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful music to be found in the whole span of Western musical history. It transcends the simple flesh and blood of human existence, to something greater, ethereal - and yet, it is paradoxically also one of the most profoundly human conceptions. The last five minutes of even a halfway decent performance of this movement will move me to tears - not of sadness, but of deep joy. Do others love this piece as I do? Furthermore, can anyone recommend other exceptional performances of this piece?

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26866
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:00 pm

ContrapunctusIX wrote:Do others love this piece as I do?
I think you have the whole musical world for company. The first time I heard that movement, I thought that it could not possibly have been composed in the musical milieu of two hundred years ago. In fact, it could not possibly have been composed at all. But there it is.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by josé echenique » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:30 pm

I think the usual suspects are all recommendable: the Quartetto Italiano, the Alban Berg, the Emerson...
They all give their best in this great masterpiece.
Among the newest, the Leipzig Quartet is also very good.

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:33 pm

jbuck919 wrote:The first time I heard that movement, I thought that it could not possibly have been composed in the musical milieu of two hundred years ago. In fact, it could not possibly have been composed at all. But there it is.
he was writing in Lydian mode either several centuries before it was fashionable (or several centuries after, depending on your POV :D ). I agree, it seems impossible that a mere man - even one as great as LvB - could write this. I'm not a religious man but this movement makes me think twice, that's for sure.

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:35 pm

josé echenique wrote:Among the newest, the Leipzig Quartet is also very good.
I'm familiar with this recording. It's beautiful, but so fast! No need to rush through something this gorgeous...why not linger just a little while longer?

Another commendable recent performance is the Prazak quartet, which also has the benefit of SACD sound.
Image

John F
Posts: 19967
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by John F » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:19 pm

The Busch String Quartet:

John Francis

Ted Quanrud
Posts: 573
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:00 pm
Location: Bismarck, North Dakota

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by Ted Quanrud » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:36 pm

Heiliger Dankgesang is the Danish conductor who goes up against the New York Mills (Minnesota) Philharmonic in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in Peter Schickele's "What's My Melodic Line" from the album "P.D.Q. Bach on the Air." If you have nine minutes to spare, you may find this fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0vHpeUO5mw

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:57 pm

John F wrote:The Busch String Quartet:

Beautiful, and in decent sound no less! Thanks, John.

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:01 pm

"Slowly, slowly, the melody unfolded itself. The archaic Lydian harmonies hung on the air. It was an unimpassioned music, transparent, pure and crystalline, like a tropical sea, an Alpine lake. Water on water, calm sliding over calm; the according of level horizons and waveless expanses, a counterpoint of serenities. And everything clear and bright; no mists, no vague twilights. It was the calm of still and rapturous contemplation, not of drowsiness or sleep. It was the serenity of a convalescent who wakes from fever and finds himself born again into a realm of beauty. But the fever was 'the fever called living' and the rebirth was not into this world; the beauty was unearthly, convalescent serenity was the peace of God. The interweaving of Lydian melodies was heaven."

-Aldous Huxley on Op. 132, "Point Counter Point"
Last edited by ContrapunctusIX on Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26866
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:17 pm

Just so we're clear about this, the Lydian Mode, or Mode 3, is from fa to fa with no accidentals, as though one played from F up to the next F without flatting the B. In reality, this mode is identical to modern major. Ever since the Middle Ages, indeed in Gregorian Chant, it has been necessary to flat the fourth to avoid a tritone. This movement is no more Lydian than Bach's "Dorian" Toccata and Fugue in D is Dorian. (It is in D minor and the accidentals are provided as needed rather than in the key signature.) The only mode which deviates from modern major-minor in any significant way is Phrygian (Mode 2), obtained by playing E to E. There are German chorales in Phrygian, including the so-called Passion Chorale, and it is part of the genius of those who set them, notably Bach, to work them into the framework of tonality.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:28 pm

The movement is entitled Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart, which literally translates to A Convalescent's Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode. If you've a bone to pick jbuck, take it up with LvB!

:D

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26866
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:44 pm

ContrapunctusIX wrote:The movement is entitled Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart, which literally translates to A Convalescent's Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode. If you've a bone to pick jbuck, take it up with LvB!
I'm well aware of the heading and have had it memorized for decades. I'm telling you that "Lydian Mode" has nothing to do with its effect and is not a departure from normal tonality, and that Beethoven must have known that. The effect of the movement is in its exploitation of the parameters of strict tonality, stretching the limits as it were. In a recent thread I shared a speculation as to why Beethoven might have marked it that way (it relates to Charles Rosen's speculation that he was influenced by a Gregorian hymn). Superior scholars have undoubtedly dug into this, and if anyone has read all those Beethoven biographies and studies and knows the answer, pray, share it with us.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Tarantella
Posts: 1089
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:09 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by Tarantella » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:54 pm

Post deleted
Last edited by Tarantella on Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26866
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:00 pm

Tarantella wrote:Contrapunctus, you're words in the opening of the thread moved me ineffably. I couldn't agree more and this is why LvB and Bach are the "gods". It IS barely conceivable that a mere mortal composed this music - and all these late quartets for that matter - and this is my dearly beloved Beethoven. Your words were followed by extremely apposite comments from jbuck.
I didn't comment in an opposite way but in a supportive one. What I did not do is extend a gush, as you have done. Everyone here knows that this movement is wondrous beyond belief. A little this and a little that which does more than repeat that consensus is perhaps what is called for.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Tarantella
Posts: 1089
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:09 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by Tarantella » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:13 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Tarantella wrote:Contrapunctus, you're words in the opening of the thread moved me ineffably. I couldn't agree more and this is why LvB and Bach are the "gods". It IS barely conceivable that a mere mortal composed this music - and all these late quartets for that matter - and this is my dearly beloved Beethoven. Your words were followed by extremely apposite comments from jbuck.
I didn't comment in an opposite way but in a supportive one. What I did not do is extend a gush, as you have done. Everyone here knows that this movement is wondrous beyond belief. A little this and a little that which does more than repeat that consensus is perhaps what is called for.
In light of what is "called for" I have deleted my post. It came from the heart and went (I thought) straight to the heart - a similar dedication which Beethoven once made himself in one of his works ("may it go straight to the heart").

There being an American hegemony even with regard to how we respond to music, I'll wish you a Merry Christmas and sign out of here.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26866
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:29 pm

Oh dear what have I done (laughing at myself)? Reading "opposite" for "apposite." I should be shot, but be given new glasses first. :oops:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

ContrapunctusIX
Posts: 971
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:58 pm

I'm not sure why jbuck cares how someone other than himself replies to someone else on a message board, but I admired your since deleted response. this is the one place on the net where I thought I could gush about a work I had rediscovered after a few years and was enjoying anew. Apparently, per jbuck, that supposition was incorrect, and violated protocol, as did your subsequent response. duly noted.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26866
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Heiliger Dankgesang from Beethoven's Op. 132

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:36 pm

ContrapunctusIX wrote:I'm not sure why jbuck cares how someone other than himself replies to someone else on a message board, but I admired your since deleted response. this is the one place on the net where I thought I could gush about a work I had rediscovered after a few years and was enjoying anew. Apparently, per jbuck, that supposition was incorrect, and violated protocol, as did your subsequent response. duly noted.
No no, I thought she was criticizing me through my idiotic misreading. I've sent her an apologetic PM and hope she takes no further offense. (I wish she had just told me my mistake and I would have taken my public lumps.) Your posting has been impeccable; as I said I thought my posts were supportive. Not one of my great moments on CMG.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 29 guests