Jay Rosenblatt,

University of Arizona

Wednesday, July 22, 2020,

2:30-4:30 p.m.,

a Zoom Webinar*

Note: the Arizona Senior

Academy Building remains closed.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) was one of the great masters of the Classical and Romantic eras in music, and no genre summarizes his achievement better than the string quartet. This webinar will provide an introduction to Beethoven’s sixteen string quartets with a focus primarily on the music. There will be discussion of the forms and techniques of the classical style that Beethoven inherited from Haydn and Mozart, and description of the tremendous changes Beethoven brought to music of his time. The webinar will be predominantly a lecture format using PowerPoint slides, including charts and other graphics (the ability to read music is not necessary). There will also be time for questions.

Ludwig van Beethoven

To illustrate Beethoven’s compositions in this medium, we will look at a quartet from each of his three style periods. The first movement of the Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, no. 1 serves as an example of Beethoven’s early period, with emphasis on his distinctive musical characteristics. For the middle period, the example will be the fourth movement of the Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, no. 3, one of the most virtuosic of these works. The example from the late quartets will be the fourth movement of the String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131, here revealing the transcendental quality of Beethoven’s final works. In order to have time for the musical examples, the webinar will be double the usual time:  two hours.

Dr. Jay Rosenblatt is currently Associate Professor of Music History at the University of Arizona, where he has taught since 1995. His scholarly research focuses on music of the nineteenth century, in particular, the music of Liszt, although he has written and taught on a variety of subjects. Most recently, he has co-authored a book on the twentieth-century British composer, Madeleine Dring.

Written by Jay Rosenblatt

July 22: “The String Quartets of Beethoven”