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Exploring Beethoven at Parnassum

Stieler, Joseph Karl: Beethoven mit der Missa solemnis Ölgemälde, 1819

Exploring Music, weeknights at 7:00 PM

 

Fux-Gradus-ad-ParnassumBy mid-life, Beethoven had assured his place among the ranks of music’s most pivotal figures, but what he produced in his final years (from around 1817 to his death in 1827),  the 9th Symphony, the Missa Solemnis, the last quartets, shattered conventions of harmony, scope—even basic notions of how music could function in our lives. Enveloped in silence, and withdrawn from much of his former life, Beethoven looked inward; the music he found there continues to provoke and to awe musicians and composers to the present day.

For two weeks, Exploring Music’s Bill McGlaughlin explores this ground-breaking period in Beethoven’s life in a series of ten programs that Bill calls “Beethoven at Parnassus.”

Debu_GS_DrGrad

For the series title, Bill borrows from an instructional book on counterpoint that has been used by composition students for hundreds of years, Gradus ad Parnassum by Johann Fux. The book is universally used; both Debussy and Muzio Clementi wrote compositions about it.

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