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It's a two-week exploration of Beethoven at Parnassus, weeknights @ 7pm, Apr 17-28

This month host Bill McGlaughlin takes us to the pinnacle of Beethoven's greatest works during the later years of his life Beethoven at Parnassus, Part I & II (2-weeks,4/17 & 4/24)

Week of April 3, 2023 - Bach’s Not-So-Minor B Minor Mass “There’s so much that is mysterious about Bach’s Mass,” Bill says, and this week he attempts to demystify Bach’s grand work by setting its context in history, tracing relevant antecedents: Bach was writing a Latin mass despite his orientation as a Lutheran. Bill surmises that Bach went back to his musical heroes from the Renaissance. “They composed masses in Latin, and so would he.” Bill illustrates relevant influences in Beethoven, Strauss, and Haydn as well as how Bach reformed some of his own work to inform his mass.

Week of April 10, 2023 - Stormy Weather We don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky, but we do know that this week of exploring stormy music will delight us all. We’ll see double rainbows with Antonio Carlos Jobim, hear Debussy's "Footsteps in the Snow” and "Gardens in the Rain," and listen to settings of Shakespeare’s Tempest, also we’ll hear Frank Bridge, Benjamin Britten, Richard Wagner, and Percy Grainger each at sea. We’ll take a mule ride into the Grand Canyon with Ferde Grofé and hear about the weather from Handel, Beethoven, Hovhaness, and Harold Arlen. Antonio Vivaldi will show us all the seasons, and we’ll ride a storm with Jim Morrison and The Doors.

Temple of Apollo, Delphi, Mount Parnassus Photo: Kufoleto CC by 3.0
Temple of Apollo, Delphi, Mount Parnassus Photo: Kufoleto CC by 3.0

Week of April 17, 2023 - Beethoven at Parnassus, Part I This is a festival of the late music of Beethoven, music from the last ten years of his life. Parnassus refers to the great mountain in Greece that towers over Delphi and is the home of the Muses. In these years from 1816 to 1826, Beethoven soared to almost mythological heights with some of his greatest works—the Ninth Symphony, the last four piano sonatas, Missa Solemnis, and his final string quartets. All these compositions still sit at the top of Mt. Parnassus.

Week of April 24, 2023 - Beethoven at Parnassus, Part II In the second part of a two-week series, we'll take an in-depth look at this music of a master reaching the pinnacle of his abilities. Bill starts with Missa Solemnis and Consecration of the House and ends in the rarified atmosphere of Mt. Parnassus as we take in Opus 135 performed by the Guarneri Quartet. Robert Schumann said, “[Beethoven’s quartets] stand...on the extreme boundary of all that has hitherto been attained by human art and imagination.” In 1977 his quartets were added to the Time Capsule of Humanity and sent into space in Voyager 1.