Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Goethe pops up everywhere

I returned two days ago from Pennsylvania State University in eastern Pennsylvania, the site of the Atkins Conference of the Goethe Society of North America. There were two days of panels on the subject of "reorientations of Goethe." In this connection I did a presentation on my activities as a Goethe blogger, offering statistics about viewership. Since Goethe comes up in all sorts of contexts, the posts on this blog have been far-reaching. I provided a handout at the presentation that listed the titles of some of the posts with the highest viewership. If anyone is interested, contact me, and I will send you the list.

But, to return to the appearance of Goethe in all kinds of contexts, last evening I went to a performance by the Brentano String Quartet of Haydn's Opus 64, no. 2, and of Mozart's "Dissonance" quartet. The evening was billed as one of "superb musicianship" and "conversation." The latter concerned the introduction by Professor Scott Burnham, who began his comments by saying that, according to Goethe, a string quartet was a conversation among friends. So, there you have it. Goethe again. Burnham also mentioned that Mozart and Haydn had played quartets together, sharing the first and second viola. One can only imagine. All that was missing was the presence of Goethe.

The Brentano String Quartet, by the way, takes its name from Antonie Brentano, who, according to the program, is believed to be the intended recipient of his famous love confession, "Immortal Beloved."

Picture credits: Rocca Calascio; Music Practice & Theory

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