Podcast #2: Exploring the Late Styles of Bach and Beethoven

By Erik Petersons on June 9, 2017.

“We are looking at the way in which various composers distilled the essence of who they are as time goes on. Over and over, you find less and less that can be construed as at all unnecessary, or frivolous, or ornamental, or just for effect.”  – Mark Steinberg

“In summing up, it seems to me that they are still working through what it is they were trying to get to all along. . . . Auden, at some point in one of his essays, said that the idea that if you get old enough, you actually manage to get back to where you were when you were 8, when you could see it clearly and freshly, and it’s still a surprise.”  – Lewis H. Lapham

“The desire [for Beethoven] to connect is so extreme there; the desire to communicate in these late pieces, I find, is also unbelievably intense. There was a real paradox there—that through his deafness, through his own unbelievably belligerent personality, he was becoming more and more isolated from the world. The isolation may have brought him something—his ability to imagine music that was so far out of the realm of what everyone else was creating or had created. At the same time, it made him more and more desperate to reach people through his music.”  – Jonathan Biss