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Panel Discussion – Tonality, The Late Quartets, and Beyond … or not.

March 1

Composers favored certain keys for certain moods, most famously the driving and demonic C minor for Beethoven. Why is this the case, and why his rare and special use of, for instance, C# minor? How does the use of keys within movements help define their nature? When we come to Beethoven’s late music, why are quartets so hallowed and, indeed, just how forward looking are they? “By the late years, an uncanny duality develops: On the one hand, the sense that Beethoven might do anything harmonically, that he would venture to the far ends of the musical earth; on the other, always there, rock-solid, the triads, the tonic and the dominant, the familiar landmarks of classical harmony.” –Jeremy Denk


March 1


Santa Barbara City College