Written to give thanks after surviving a near-fatal illness. Still, he was completely deaf by this time, making the composition all the more remarkable: The third movement of his string quartet opus 132, the "Heiliger Dangesang." Perhaps the greatest single short piece of music (17 minutes) ever written. Next week in NYC I'll be attending a performance of it along with a reading (by a well-known British actor) of another masterpiece it inspired: T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets."
My new Huff Post piece on all this is here.
Below is the third movement in two parts at YouTube, part I, and below that Part II. And following that, as it figures in the final scene of recent movie Copying Beethoven:
Thursday, November 26, 2009
For the Holiday: Beethoven's "Hymn of Thanksgiving"
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch