Beethoven rolls out the fog of despair.

The Takacs Quartet is playing all of Beethoven’s string quartets in a series of six concerts in Princeton this year.  I went to the first one tonight.  Before the concert the audience came in with a lot of angst and gallows humor about the election.  That gloom started to lift almost as soon as the graceful sounds of the String Quartet in G major started to fill Richardson Hall.

There was open seating tonight so I was able to sit on the left side of the audience, instead of on the right where my season ticket seat is.  I was facing the viola with its “F holes” directed towards me. It seemed to me that I could distinguish  the many lovely passages Beethoven wrote for that instrument in the three quartets on tonight’s program more clearly because of where I sat.  On Thursday I’ll be back in my usual seat for the next concert in the series, and will be able to check this out.  In addition to the joy of the music, the obvious joy of the four musicians lifted away any funk in the hall.

I have a question about the 4th movement of the last quartet on the program, the one in B-flat major, Opus 130.  Here’s a link to the Brentano String Quartet playing the movement Alla danza tedesca.  I swear I have heard the theme of this movement in many movies and TV shows, but I can’t for the life of me remember even one.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  You can include them in a comment below.  Thanks.

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