glyph 607: Beethoven, Waldstein piano sonata, Op. 53 No. 21 ... Martha Argerich, Ayn Rand, Fountainhead ... art, words, music, parallel ... sadness, hopelessness —> startled quiet followed by explosive joy, renewed expectation of good ... a psychological shift illustrated in story and sound ... a shift desperately needed by a culture in (not entirely unjustified) doubt of itself


Rand's Fountainhead, Beethoven's Waldstein

improbable emergence, word & music

[Fountainhead, boy with bicycle, discouraged, sad, slowly climbing hill, then ... at top of rise, Roark's work is seen, a moment of quiet stunned shift, then an explosive torrent of joy. All expressed in transition between movements 2 and 3 of Beethoven's Waldstein piano sonata. Our culture needs such an experience. Since the portentous looming of WWI we have been climbing that hill. We tire, and long for the light. -ls]

The transition between movements 2 and 3 is discussed and played by Andras Schiff beginning at 25 minutes and 30 seconds into his lecture on Waldstein, Op. 53. Access to all 32 of Schiff's lectures:

An eternal piano is found in wilderness, always perfect in matter and tuning, protected forever from time. Generations of great human beings from primitive cultures come, touch it, sound it, hold it sacred, and never, never, never is Waldstein found. Not ever. And yet, there Waldstein waits ... for what? It waits not only for one of highest ability, for those have come, but also for such a one born into a culture through which flows a mighty river of virtue expressed in thought, art, science, law, and matter. Though Waldstein waits in that piano forever, no one but a traveler on such a river could ever bring it forth. For millennia many of high musical talent have known that piano and have been enchanted, but never was Waldstein found, never. It can bloom only in a magnificent culture, and in no other way may it emerge. Now, think, that piano remains, always. Should we be worthy perhaps Waldsteins await us.

Written by a groundskeeper at Lake Perinel, where the word groundskeeper has many meanings. -ls

Martha Argerich playing Beethoven Sonata Op. 53 Waldstein -YouTube, may be an ad; worth it anyway. The second movement begins at 10:10
Andras Schiff talks about Op. 53 and illustrates on piano ••• (Guardian Unlimited has Schiff's lectures on all 32 sonatas)
"Beethoven's Soundtrack to the Birth of Modernity" ••• by Jeffrey A. Tucker
April 27, 2019; edited/updated March 14, 2020

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