This quartet feels like a good-bye, and I would like to dedicate the post to a certain priest that played a substantial part in the posts of my fellow blogger readonmydear. He has left Ireland and moved on to Italy to do his duty and we, readonmydear’s readers, will miss him. String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D.804, was written by Franz Schubert in early 1824 for two violins, viola and cello.
“Schubert seems to be in love for real with Countess E. I like that. He gives her lessons.” A single line in Eduard Bauernfeld’s diary. The Viennese writer was a friend of Franz Schubert and he certainly wished the composer well – a stable, loving relationship with a respectable and inspiring woman. And Schubert was indeed in love with his piano student Caroline Esterhazy de Galantha. In 1824, the composer had spent a summer at the castle of Caroline’s family in Zselitz an der Gran, today called Zeliezovce and located in Slovakia. During the spring of 1828, a few months before his death, Schubert wrote a piano piece for four hands that forces the pianists to cross arms – with the remote possibility of touching each other. What a thrill!
Have a look at this pebble. It is another souvenir from my wanderings in the Alps last summer. That rock has been in that mountain river for so many years. The alternance of heat and cold, the wind and the water have given it is round shape. No edges. Grey strata alternate with white ones, at least two different types of rock have been compressed together in that pebble. The shape, the colours, the water that flows around it, all these elements gave it a natural elegance. I touched it after it had caught my eye. It felt good. I left it where it belonged to so that others could admire it.
“There is no other God than Bach and Mendelssohn is his prophet!” exclaimed the French composer Hector Berlioz after Felix Mendelssohn had performed in 1841 in the German town of Leipzig the St. Matthew’s Passion, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and first performed in that very same town in 1727. Felix Mendelssohn has done much to resuscitate Bach’s works. He established himself as a composer and conductor in 1829 when he had the St. Matthew’s Passion performed for the first time in Germany after almost 100 years. He was 20 years old then, and the concert was one of the top musical events in Berlin that year. But today’s post is not about Mendelssohn, it’s about Bach! Continue reading!