2nd International Congress of Musicology

Athens Concert Hall, 4-6 November 2003

Paper Abstracts

George Fitsioris

The General with the Hips of a Ballerina and the Feet of a Hare: The Slow Introduzione of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59 No 3

Τhe slow Introduzione of Beethoven’s string quartet Op. 59 No 3, well known for its harmonic and melodic vagueness, as well as for its lack of any rhythmical differentiation, is considered by a great number of scholars as Beethoven’s “response” to the Introduction of Mozart’s famous “dissonant quartet”, K. 465. In his Freie Satz, Heinrich Schenker interpreted the latter in terms of a succession I ––– V 8–7 of the home key. This paper proposes, through successive reductional graphs, that one can perceive the sequence of the fleeting “modulations”, in which the Introduzione of Op. 59 No 3 makes more or less indirect allusions, as a derivative of successive rhythmical shifts of diatonic or chromatic nonharmonic tones that appear during the prolongation of one harmony, namely the dominant of the home key, C Major, which is, in turn, tonicized by its own dominant that is heard in the first bars of the Introduzione.

In addition, an extended appendix deals with the general topic of the reception, the acceptance, and even the necessity of any “technical” analysis and then, after presenting explanatory descriptions that clarify the preceding graphs, argues that such analyses are exclusively listener and / or performer oriented, presenting them with the opportunity to have an utterly aesthetic experience.

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