Sunday 6 December 2015

EVENSONG. Quatuor Des Moulins : Haydn - String Quartet in C Major Op. 76, No. 3 "E...

Lonesome, middle of the night music, this, for me, not only this, string quartets, generally; I become absorbed, anti-social, trying to follow them, all so close together tonally, yet running up and down different stairs. 

 In Beethoven's ninth symphony, for instance, these are the lines over which the conductor, conducts: 
Piccolo (fourth movement only)
2 Flutes
2 Oboes
2 Clarinets in A, B-flat and C
2 Bassoons
Contrabassoon (fourth movement only) 
2 Horns (1 and 2) in D and B-flat
2 Horns (3 and 4) in B-flat (bass), B-flat and E-flat
2 Trumpets in D and B-flat
3 Trombones (alto, tenor, and bass, second and fourth movements only)
Bass Drum (fourth movement only)
Triangle (fourth movement only)
Cymbals (fourth movement only) 
(all voices fourth movement only)

Soprano solo
Alto solo
Tenor solo
Bass solo 

  (Tenor briefly divides)


Violins I, II
Double Basses.
 Approximately forty lines of music, intermingling.
As can be said of most who listen to it, I can  hear all of these separate voices and tones and forces, I know what they are doing and if they are being played properly.  String quartets, though, they're harder work than symphony orchestras and choirs
 I have been listening to this one, regularly and closely, for a quarter of a century but had never seen it perfomed until tonight, when I watched a half-dozen different versions on youtube. This was by far the most rounded, sure-footed and sympathetic, as well as being the best lit, filmed and recorded. 
In Britain, we know this air as the hymn, Zion's King shall reign victorious, all the Earth shall own his sway......; 
 in Germany, of course, the second movement of Haydn's Emperor - or Kaiser - quartet makes mellifluous the blood-curdling national anthem, Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles, the marching song of sixty million dead. 
 The whole quartet, but this movement especially is, I find, deeply moving, for and within itself, as well as for it's unfortunate connotations. I have given up trying to know it and instead just let it shiver its way all over me.
Maybe it's just me, but the sad-eyed lady of the viola seems to be channelling those who, to its tune, staggered and stumbled, kicked and cursed,
 into Zyklon B's Final discordant Solution.

If there is an error message, please just click on the youtube icon, bottom right.


Mike said...

Correct, Mr I. The lady on the viola is apologising for playing this.

Normally "Deutchland Uber Alles" is sung/played in a triumphalist voice, as befits the Nazis; this is almost the alter ego of that.

One can't distinguish these pieces (whatever the original composer may have felt) - as with Ode To Joy - from their subsequent hijacking by the filth de jour.

Bungalow Bill said...

Yes, such works are now performed over an abyss and, as we've said before on here, how dare we talk of culture after what happened? Haydn, though, is always perfectly balanced. Beautiful, thank you and is of a piece in its way with that other familiar thing made unfamiliar a few days ago, the sad carol.

Alphons said...

The thing that has always surprised me is this.
The sound/music comes at us in one long stream, with the outpouring from all the playing instrument mixed up together, yet it is possible to pick out separate instruments.

call me ishmael said...

These players look Jewish, to me, and must know that in recent history successive handfuls of darkly fortunate, talented Jews, such as themselves, would have been kept alive in order to play such pieces as this to their master race tormentors.

I know history is filled with horror but give me Genghis or Vlad ot Attilla any day, over these neat, orderly, cultured Germans and their epicurean sadism; they should hang their heads in shame for a thousand generations, and yet they lecture us on humanitarianism.

call me ishmael said...

Acoustics, m alphons, a mystery to me, frrequencies and wavelengths, vibrations. Once, LSD provided understanding or at least awareness of the infinite nature of the note, plucked from silence and propelled towards Eternity, but it's hard going, all that.

mongoose said...

It is ever thus, isn't it, that the spiv will do over the unwary. In fact, most of the spiv's skill is to be found in the finding the target. And your man knocked on the wrong door, Mr Ishmael. Gardener, plasterer, motor mechanic, politician. You need a bright lamp to find an honest one even in broad daylight.

There was an interesing snippet - you have the pic - when Corbyn's brother was allowed on Andrew Wig's show last week. Not so that we could hear what he had to say, you understand, but so that we could sneer at his brother by proxy. This lad is reasonbaly notoriously a climate "denier" - it is like being a child molester these days. And the responses of the three were telling. Neil did the straght man and asked the illiterate but common question about the 97% of scientists agreement. (Although it isn't agreement, or 97%, or even relevant to what science is.) And while the required response was being formed, they interrupted the old fool a couple of times and he was lost. Portolulu obfuscated for 90 seconds and Postman Pat got mixed up between 100 - 97 = 3%, and 2 degrees of warming - "because two is like three, I think, and small but what?" They quickly interrupted the jackass and glossed over the monumental ignorance of someone who was a couple of heartbeats from No10 back in the day. Anyway, the unwary Corbyn was now caught in his Godless trap of being on a five minute slot with a fifteen minute argument, as he was always going to be. Everyone knew it but him.

That is more or less a description of modern politics. The framing of the question to beg the desired answer, but more importantly to render the actual, or dissenting at any event, answer undeliverable. And now everything is like that. Why was the motorway up the road here closed for four hours the other week after a minor shunt? Because some idiot somewhere has created a requirement for measurements and nonsense to insulate the state's officers from liability, and now it is unthinkingly done. Why are kids not allowed chocolate bars in their lunch? And a sugar tax? A tax on pop. Laugh? For fuck's sake, get a grip, you bastards. To dissent on any of these matters - and there are thousands more - is the new heresy. Just fuck off and leave people alone. And that includes Syrian people too.

mongoose said...

That seems to be on the wrong comment thread too, Mr Ishmael, but probably my fault. Why, one wonders, does the post-a-comment link now not open except in a new tab, and lead the innocent into error? And now my comment for here has disappeared, doubtless closed by me. Ah, the trials of life, eh?

call me ishmael said...

I am sorry, mon ami, I cannot read yourcomment or your query, I take flight, the noo, Aberdeen, and outiwth the internet. I shall be back tomorrow evening, 'til then, Adieu.

mongoose said...

It matters not, Mr I. Bon voyage.

call me ishmael said...

I did see it, although I am largely sworn-off such devilry. And yes, you have it to a T; why DO otherwise savvy people expose themselves to a trio like that, help them create their vile shows?

As you knopw I have my own seeming empricial view: that all these billions of sweating and defecating bodies must up the temperature somewhat - something confirmed for me, last week, seeing two shows, one full, one empty, in the local cinerma - but I really would have liked to hear what Corbyn minor - or is he major? - had to say. Postman Johnson, no wonder his Nrs ran away from him.

mongoose said...

At least you have started from the empirical. We'll make a scientist of you yet. But the point was not to harp on about climate lunacy but to explain how they put him up there and he had not a price from the start.

There was a lad from the Environment Agency on the radio earlier being quizzed about the Cumbrian floods. His point - after a wodge of corporate-speak - was that the rain had been remarkable but not that mad for that part of the world but that, yes, some of their flood defences had been overwhelmed, as they always would be in a non-perfect world of priorities. The interviewer was not having any of that shit and wanted her condemnation of "Tory party promises" (etc). The lad calmly said, "Well, yes, we did get that money, and, yes, we are spending it and trying to protect more people for a wider range of adverse events". I thought the radio would explode.

Anonymous said...

"...but I really would have liked to hear what Corbyn minor - or is he major? - had to say."

Hope that works.


call me ishmael said...

Sorry, mr rtg, I did acually see the piece on This Week, but I meant that I would rather have heard him, Corbyn, unbarracked by Neil and his stooges, especially Johnson but as mr mongoose indicated Corbyn was always going to be pissing in the wind with people like that.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, I understood your point, mr mongoose, and was referencing my own expectation that climate change or part thereor is due to these vile bodies and their needs. I do, of course, endorse your view:

The framing of the question to beg the desired answer, but more importantly to render the actual, or dissenting at any event, answer undeliverable.

And the copmcomitatnt view that a serious person should not, as did Corbyn, enter showbusiness, be it This Week or the World At One.

I duwanna make a play on your name, but 'ave you bin peer reviewed? Johnson. Fuck me, Jesus, this fucking moron was a seckaterry of state.

Mr B. said...

Mr Ishmael, Can't find a reference to this quote, Can you help. "those who would silence Germaine Greer for stating the obvious?"
Thanks. Mr B.

call me ishmael said...

Germaine Greer had remarked that no amount of surgery and medication could make a woman out of a man ot vice versa and that to insist otherwise was both stupid and disrespectful to both gendere. She said that people were free to describe themselves however they chose but she was not compelled to agree with them. She was due to speak on an entirely different subject at, I believe, Cardiff university but her opinion on so-called gender reassignment was deemed, by a student committee, to be a hate-crime, and they barred her. I believe that the invitation was reinstated.