Beethoven and British Literature 1902-1927


Dr Nathan Waddell, Assistant Professor, Department Of English, University Of Nottingham

Dr Robert Blackburn, Convenor, Literature And Humanities, Brlsi, and former Principal Lecturer in Music, Bath Spa University, played Beethoven’s Sonata in E flat, Op. 31 No. 3 (1801/2)

21 November 2016


This event was dedicated to the memory of the American pianist and scholar Charles Rosen (1927-2014), whose detailed commentaries on the general Classical-Romantic repertoire have been such an inspiration over the years, and whose performances of so many standard piano masterpieces will always stay in the memory.

What follows is a detailed summary, with quotations, of Dr Waddell’s talk, with expansion and further commentaries by Dr Robert Blackburn. Some of this extra material was not dealt with in Dr Waddell’s text, which was a foretaste of a larger piece of work by him currently in progress.

Portrait of Beethoven as a young man, by Carl Traugott Riedel

In the first decades of the twentieth century, Beethoven’s music was played increasingly by professional and amateur performers alike, throughout the western world. He had a particular influence on writers such as TS Eliot (American-born, of course), EM Forster, Aldous Huxley, Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf - all of whom were born between the very end of the 1870s and the mid-1890s. They cared passionately about his music, were emotionally moved by it, and often referred to it in their creative work and letters to friends. The centenary of Beethoven’s death fell in 1927, and was anticipated and marked by many publications.  Among these was Beethoven: His Spiritual Development, by the British science  writer and literary journalist JWN Sullivan (1886-1937), a work still in print today, and still quoted. In the same year, the critic Ernest Newman, author of a four-volume Life of Wagner, published The Unconscious Beethoven. This was an examination and comparison of musical ideas and motifs which appear in many of the composer’s works, across all the genres in which he specialised. Two years earlier, in 1925, the Frenchman Joseph de Marliave had published a landmark study of the Beethoven string quartets, which was translated into English in 1928.

This is the place to mention some important earlier beacons in Beethoven scholarship, few of which would have necessarily been familiar to the British authors mentioned later. They are:

  • Alexander Wheelock Thayer: Beethoven; Thematic Catalogue (Berlin 1865) and his monumental Life of Beethoven, to match the Life of Mozart by  the archaeologist and philologist Otto Jahn (1856), and Philipp Spitta’s great book on JS Bach. Thayer’s Life was published in stages in German from 1866 to 1908, issued in an English translation in 1921, and revised and reissued in 1964-1967.
  • Gustav Nottebohm’s pioneering study - A Beethoven Sketchbook (1865, 2/1924)
  • Sir George Grove’s important - Beethoven and His Nine Symphonies (1884, 2/1896, 3/1898)
  • Biographies in English by FJ Crowest (five editions, 1899 to 1908) and Ernest Walker (three editions from 1905 to 1920)
  • German life-and-works studies by W. von Lenz (1855-60, revised 1908), AB Marx (1859) and WJ Wasielewski.
  • Paul Bekker’s - Beethoven (Berlin and Leipzig 1911, translated into English 1925)
  • Vincent d’Indy’s - Beethove; biographie critique (Paris 1911, 2/1927)
  • Romain Rolland - La Vie de Beethoven (Paris 1903)
  • Romain Rolland - Les grands époques créatrices (Paris 1928-45) English translation of Vol. One, 1929, Beethoven the Creator.

To these must be added the standard edition of Beethoven’s Complete Letters (In German) ed. Erich Kästner, 1910, enlarged in 1923 by Julius Kapp.  Emily Anderson’s famous translation of the letters into English did not appear until 1961. There have, of course, been numerous biographies and critical studies of all aspects of Beethoven’s music since the 1927 centenary, and even more since the bicentenary of the composer’s birth in 1970. The most recent scholarly general survey is by Lewis Lockwood (Beethoven: The Music and The Life, Norton, 2003)

It can be seen that English language works on Beethoven were comparatively slow to emerge in the nineteenth century. Thayer’s great study took decades to reach an English speaking audience, much longer than it should have done. Matters picked up strongly around the turn of the century, however. It was not as though this composer’s Shakespearean stature and pivotal position in western culture (between Classicism and Romanticism) had not already come to be widely felt. With the exception of EM Forster, who was a competent amateur pianist, the English writers who came to the fore in the Edwardian era and the 1920s were not practising musicians, or anything near it, but most of them recognised and responded to the power of great music in various ways. They observed the immense building up of tensions, and the endless creation of mood which are characteristics of western music since the 17th and 18th centuries. Five works from the period 1909 to 1919 all show an awareness of Beethoven’s music, in differing degrees. They are HG Wells’ Tono-Bungay (1909), Forster’s Howards End (1910), Conrad’s Victory (1915), Virginia Woolf’s The Voyage Out (1915) and Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage sequence of novels, notably The Tunnel (1919). In the 1920s and early 1940s, Beethoven’s late string quartets had a deep effect on TS Eliot (another non-musician) during the composition of Four Quartets.

Wells’ Tono-Bungay is one of his principal works in terms of quality and survival. It is a social satire, telling the story of Edward Ponderevo, whose ‘ comet-like transit of the financial heavens’ ( to use his own words) happened on the back of his short-lived universal medical tonic Tono-Bungay.  The novel’s Second Book, The Rise of Tono-Bungay, describes how Ponderevo became a London student and went astray. He was twenty-two, a scholar of the Pharmaceutical Society, but threw this up for a Technical Board Scholarship, in mechanics and metallurgy, hoping that this would lead towards work in engineering. Lodging in West Brompton, his curiosity about London arose to the point at which he travelled in all directions by bus, ‘…enlarging and broadening the sense of great swarming hinterlands of humanity with whom I had no dealings, of whom I knew nothing…’ He speaks of London’s ‘hidden but magnificent meanings’, of Exhibition Road and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

It wasn’t simply that I received a vast impression of space and multitude and opportunity; intimate things also were suddenly dragged from neglected, veiled and darkened corners into an acute vividness of perception. Close at hand in the big art museum I came for the first time upon the beauty of nudity, which I had hitherto held to be a shameful secret, flaunted and glorified in; I was made aware of beauty as not only permissible but desirable and frequent, and of a thousand hitherto unsuspected rich aspects of life. One night in a real rapture, I walked round the upper gallery of the Albert Hall and listened for the first time to great music, I believe now that it was a rendering of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.’

Nathan stressed here that this was a retrospective account by Ponderevo, standing in for Wells himself. The narrator wishes to go back and look again at the moment of hearing Beethoven’s Ninth, becoming aware of it as a life-experience.  A year later, in 1910, EM Forster, thirteen years younger than Wells, published his fourth novel (and most ambitious so far), Howards End. In 1927, in his critical study Aspects of the Novel, Forster speaks of ‘easy’ rhythm in fiction, the repetition of sound, and of ‘hard’ rhythm, the sense of overall symmetry as a whole, the organic unity of the work of art. In Howards End, the story of the interaction of the Schlegel sisters, Margaret and Helen, with the family of the wealthy businessman Henry Wilcox, music as an idea plays a significant part, because Forster uses it as a catalyst for events.

EM Forster (1879-1970) by Dora Carrington

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, performed in the old Queen’s Hall in Langham Place (destroyed by an incendiary bomb in 1941) is the focus of much social comedy and commentary, in relation to the place itself (‘dreariest music room in London’) and the reactions and expectations of the various identifiable people listening to it at the opening of Chapter Five. This begins famously, and rather pompously: ‘It will be generally acknowledged that Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is the most sublime noise that has ever penetrated the ear of man.’  Despite the satire which follows, there is also a genuine knowledge of the music, which Forster is not at all reluctant to reveal. He is not too shy to mention Brahms’ Four Serious Songs, next in the programme, the un-named Mendelssohn overture which began it, nor Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March, which (to our ears, strangely) followed the Brahms - probably in search of something cheerful and patriotic, as well as relatively new. We follow the introduction of the insurance clerk Leonard Bast into the story, seeking the return of his umbrella, accidentally taken by Helen Schlegel, who, a complete stranger, was sitting next to him. This is used as a device to enable Leonard to meet the Schlegel family at Wickham Place, however ill-at ease the unfortunate young man obviously was. It is not only Beethoven, but Wagner, Gounod, Puccini, Monet and Debussy who feature Forster’s description of events. Margaret Schlegel tells Leonard, trying to put him at his ease, of the arguments she has with her sister about the arts, how Helen’s ‘one aim is to translate tunes into the language of painting, and pictures into the language of music.’ This level of sophistication is, of course, something Leonard has only been able to dream of, and he is inwardly transfixed, though outwardly as socially awkward as he could possibly be. Margaret continues:

Now this very symphony that we’ve just been having - she won’t let it alone. She labels it with meanings from start to finish; turns it into literature. I wonder if the day will ever return when music will be treated as music. Yet I don’t know. There’s my brother (Tibby) - behind us. He treats music as music, and oh, my goodness! He makes me angrier than anyone, simply furious. With him I daren’t even argue. ‘(Tibby is very knowledgeable on the technical aspects of music, and follows performances with an open score).’  As against Tibby’s irritatingly learned approach, Mrs Munt, also with them in the Queen’ s Hall, is only involved in the music when she feels she can tap her feet. No list, however long, could do justice to the possible ways of listening and responding to Beethoven’s music. Yet it is true that lesser music than the Fifth Symphony, music which does not aim to be ‘sublime’ in any way, would be more easily graspable, more simply absorbed It is a matter of levels, of perception and awareness of context. The unlikely figure of Havelock Ellis, legendary author of Studies in the Psychology of Sex, said of the famous Allegretto of the Seventh Symphony, with its repeated dactylic rhythm, that ‘there is no music that gives me so profound a sense of apprehensive awe.’

Not only was Forster a competent pianist from boyhood, but he had an understanding of and insight into musical structure. He had been familiar with the Beethoven piano sonatas for most of his life, and in later years, (in 1940, when he was 61) he began an ‘analysis ‘ of them. He said to his friend Forest Reid that ‘I’m keen on a vision of Beethoven reached through playing him as well as listening to (him), and based on details.’ His approach is chatty and subjective, avoiding the technical commentary to be found elsewhere on weightier studies, such as those by Donald Tovey and Charles Rosen. Nick Furbank, in his fine biography of Forster, actually quotes the author’s discussion of the first movement of the E minor, two-movement sonata, Opus 90. This is well known to amateur pianists for its flowing cantabile second movement (in E major) and the considerable left-hand difficulties of the opening movement, marked (in German) ‘with animation, and always with feeling and expression’ (see N Furbank, EM Forster: A Life, (1978) Vol. 2, pp. 252-253).

Five years on, in 1915, Joseph Conrad published Victory, a long novel completed early in 1914. This is the story of Axel heist, a dreamer and restless drifter, who rescues a young English girl, Lena, from Zangiacomo’s Ladies Orchestra and an evil innkeeper, Schomberg, in the Malay Archipelago. Victory is one of Conrad’s finest works, and operates on a rather wider canvas than Forster’s Howards End.  In his Author’s Note, Conrad says that his conscience is troubled by the ‘awful incongruity of throwing this bit of imagined drama into the welter of reality, tragic enough in all conscience, but even more cruel than tragic, and even more inspiring than cruel.’ He goes on:

The unchanging Man of history is wonderfully adaptable both by his power of endurance and his capacity for detachment. The fact seems to be that the play of his destiny is too great for his fears, and too mysterious for his understanding. When the trump of the Last Judgment to sound suddenly on a working day, the musician at his piano would go on with his performance of Beethoven’s sonata, and the cobbler at his stall stick to his last in undisturbed confidence of in the virtues of leather. And with perfect propriety. For what are we to let ourselves be disturbed by an angel’s vengeful music, too mighty for our ears and too awful for our terrors?

We do not know which Beethoven sonata Conrad had in mind here - almost any would do -but the mere mention of this composer in this context tells us something at least about the spread of Beethoven’s ‘universal’ reputation, even among non-musical writers such as Conrad. Virginia Woolf cannot easily be described as non-musical; she is on record as saying that ‘I always think of my books as music, before I write them’. Her first novel, The Voyage Out, tell the story of a young woman, Rachel Vinrace, modelled to a great extent on Woolf herself. In the novel, and the result is that the mother (as in the young Virginia Stephen’s life) is misremembered, existing in the novel as a gap or a silence. Devoted to her father, the writer and editor Leslie Stephen, Virginia was overwhelmed with remorse after his death, blaming herself for not having (in her perception) helped him sufficiently. The character of St John Hirst in The Voyage Out is based on the homosexual Lytton Strachey, and Hirst is the target for Rachel’s loudest complaints about the restricted lives of Englishwomen. Her lover and would-be husband Terence is (to this reader) an odd, unconvincing figure, and their relationship as it evolves has a peculiar, forced feel, even allowing  for the social restrictions of the time. Hermione Lee, Woolf’s biographer, has described their relationship as full of ‘melancholy bewilderment’, and sees Rachel as ‘vacillating between detachment, fear and a sense of intimacy over Terence. The story of Rachel Vinrace is self-evidently that of ‘the suppressed development of an (English) middle-class girl.’ One common accomplishment of many such girls at this period was the ability to play the piano well enough to give pleasure to others. In an important passage, we see Rachel at the keyboard:

Up and up the steep spiral of a very late Beethoven sonata she climbed, like a person ascending a ruined staircase, energetically at first, then more laboriously, advancing her feet with effort until she could go no higher, and returned with a run to begin at the bottom again.’

Whereas with Conrad, the reference to a sonata is a vague one, Woolf is much better informed. She knows that the ‘late’ sonatas, those composed by Beethoven between 1816 and 1822, are identifiably different from those composed earlier. From this curiously concise, even semi-precise description, one might guess that it might refer to the Theme and Variations final movement of the E major sonata, opus 109.

Something similar occurs in Dorothy Richardson’s The Tunnel (1919) the fourth novel in the author’s Pilgrimage sequence. Here, the central character, Miriam Henderson, reflects:

Daylight and gaiety, and night and storm and a great song and truth that was bigger than any symphony. Beethoven.’

Miriam is playing an unidentified sonata here, though it contains a Largo. This might be the Largo in C from the early E flat sonata, Opus 7, one of Beethoven’s longest, or the great D minor threnody from the D major Sonata, Opus 10, No. 3, both from the late 1790s. Miriam likes the early sonatas, so it is almost certain to be one of these two.

In France, Beethoven’s music had always had a strong following. One important early twentieth-century outcome is to be found in the works of Romain Rolland (1866-1944). Rolland’s La vie de Beethoven appeared in 1903, and his remarkable novel sequence about the life of a fictitious nineteenth century composer, Jean-Christophe Krafft, published between 1904 and 1912, drew heavily on the personality of Beethoven and some of the events of his life. Rolland himself said that ‘the hero is Beethoven in the modern world’, the game given away at the stat by the fact that Krafft is ‘a German musician of Belgian (i.e. Flemish) extraction’, like Beethoven himself. Jean Christophe, translated into English by Gilbert Cannan in 1911-1913, is a roman-fleuve’. Rolland stated that he was writing a musical novel, in which emotions, not traditional classical action, were reflected in the narrative. He also said that ‘Jean- Christophe has always seemed to me to flow like a river.’

Nathan referred to the Vienna Secession exhibition of 1902, and the great (now restored but fragmentary) Beethoven Frieze by the painter Gustav Klimt (1960-1918), This can be seen today by any visitor to Vienna, in the basement of the gold-domed Secession building near the Ringstrasse , in the heart of the city. Important further references are the famous final scene of Aldous Huxley’s long novel Point Counter Point (601 pages) of 1928, and Thomas Mann ‘s novel Doctor Faustus (1947), centred on the life of a fictitious modernist composer, Adrian Leverkühn. My discussion of this novel, together with Mann’s Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain, can be found online or in the BRLSI printed Proceedings for 2005. The relationship between these three key novels across Thomas Mann’s writing life has often been commented on. Here it is only necessary to point out the place of music in all three, both in itself and as a subject for long discussions, as a result of Mann’s lifelong and extremely well informed passion for music, both instrumental and operatic.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) as a young man 

Huxley’s Point Counter Point is another of his social satires, on a bigger scale than anything he had previously attempted. It contains several portraits of his contemporaries, notably DH Lawrence as Mark Rampion, John Middleton Murry as Denis Burlap, and Huxley himself as the novelist Philip Quarles, and Huxley’s wife Maria as Elinor Quarles, Philip’s wife. Maurice Spandrell is drawn from Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), especially the great French writer’s disastrous boyhood. Spandrell has given up his life to corruption and ennui.  He and a young scientist Illidge, murder Everard Webley, leader and ‘tin pot Mussolini’ of the Brotherhood of British Freedom, a fascist group anticipating the later real-life British Union of Fascists of Oswald Mosley.  Spandrell invites the Brotherhood to his home, where he is shot and killed. Before this happens, however, there is a long passage describing the effect on Spandrell, and others, of the ‘Holy Song of Thanksgiving to God from one recovered from illness’, the ‘heilige Dankgesang’, the long slow movement of the late.  A minor String Quartet, Opus 132.  This music, which is in part the result of Beethoven’ s study of the scores of the Italian Renaissance composer Palestrina, is one of his longest and most searching slow movements. Spandrell would have been listening to it by way of the earliest gramophone recording. This was the first ever recording of the work, the only one available in 1928, on shellac discs, of course, by the Léner Quartet. They were a group of four Hungarians who under the leader Jenö Léner, formed themselves in 1918, and went on recording Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Brahms and Dvorak until the group dissolved in 1939, when war broke out. It is worth saying here that the achievement of the Léner Quartet in the interwar years is sadly invariably marginalised because of the rise of the Busch Quartet in the 1930s, an ensemble which even now, and despite the simple recording technology of their time, continues to be regarded as among the very greatest interpreters of Beethoven’s quartets.

The passage leading up to the shooting and demise of Maurice Spandrell is worth quoting here in full, as in conveys like no other the impact of Beethoven’s final- period music, and also Huxley’s technical awareness of what was actually happening in the score:

Well, here we are,’ said Rampion, when Spandrell opened his door to them the next afternoon. ‘Where is Beethoven?  Where’s the famous proof of God’s existence and the superiority of Jesus’s morality?

In here.’ Spandrell led the way into his sitting room. The gramophone stood on the table. Four or five records lay scattered near it. ‘ Here’s the beginning of the slow movement’ Spandrell went on, picking up one of them: ‘I won’t bother you with the rest of the quartet. It’s lovely. But the heilige Dankgesang is the crucial part.’  He wound up the clockwork; the disc revolved; he lowered the needle of the sound box on to its grooved surface.  A single violin gave out a long note, then another a sixth above, dropped to the fifth (while the second violin began where the first had started), then leapt to the octave, and hung there suspended through two long beats. More than a hundred years before, Beethoven, stone deaf, had heard the imaginary music of stringed instruments expressing his inmost thought s and feelings. He had made signs with ink on ruled paper. A century later, four Hungarians had reproduced from the printed reproduction of Beethoven’s scribbles that music which Beethoven had never heard except in his imagination. Spiral grooves on a surface of shellac remembered their playing. The artificial memory revolved, a needle travelled in its grooves and through a faint scratching and roaring that mimicked the noises of Beethoven’s own deafness, the audible symbols of Beethoven’s convictions and emotions quivered out into the air. Slowly, slowly, the melody unfolded itself. The archaic Lydian harmonies hung on the air. It was an unimpassioned music, transparent, pure and crystalline, like a tropical sea, an Alpine lake. Water on water, calm sliding over calm; the according of level horizons and wave less expanses, a counterpoint of serenities. And everything clear and bright; no mists, no vague twilights. It was the calm of still and rapturous contemplation, not of drowsiness or sleep. It was the serenity of the convalescent who wakes from fever and finds himself born again into a realm of beauty. But the fever was ‘the fever called living’, and the rebirth was not into this world; the beauty was unearthly, the convalescent serenity was the peace of God. The interweaving of Lydian melodies was heaven.’ (Aldous Huxley: Point Counter Point (1928), pp. 593-4)

The impact of this music continues over the following pages, but melodrama takes over as the British Freemen arrive at the door:

Rampion and Mary remained by the gramophone, listening to the revelation of heaven. A deafening explosion, a shout, another explosion, and another, suddenly shattered the paradise of sound.

They jumped up and ran to the door. In the passage three men in the green uniform of the British Freeman were looking down at Spandrell’s body. They held pistols in their hands. Another revolver lay on the floor beside the dying man. There was a hole in the side of his head and a patch of blood on his shirt. His hands opened and shut, opened and shut, scratching the boards.

‘What has…? Began Rampion.

‘He fired first,’ one of the men interrupted.

There was a little silence. Through the open door came the sound of music. The passion had begun to fade from the celestial melody.  Heaven, in those long-drawn notes, became once more the place of absolute rest, of still and blissful convalescence.  Long notes, a chord repeated, protracted, bright and pure, hanging, floating, effortlessly soaring on and on. And suddenly there was no more music; only the scratching of the needle on the revolving disc.’                                                                                                                                             (Ibid. page 599)

Photograph of TS Eliot in 1934, by Lady Ottoline Morrell

By 1927-8, there was general sense of ownership of Beethoven’s music throughout western high culture, among writers and even visual artists, as well as musicians. He had become the touchstone of musical greatness, expressiveness and profundity, his music regarded as one of the great pinnacles of western art as a whole. TS Eliot’s Four Quartets are a leading example of this. Eliot’s final long poems were published as a set in 1944, but had previously appeared separately as follows:

Burnt Norton - April 1936; East Coker 21 march 1940; The Dry Salvages 27 February 1941; Little Gidding 15 October 1942

Writing to Pamela Murray in February 1938, Eliot said that outside his current interest in the theatre, ‘I am interested (Burnt Norton) in possible approximations to musical form and musical effect.’ In The Music of Poetry (1942), Eliot observed that ‘The use of recurrent themes is as natural to poetry as to music…There are possibilities of transitions in a poem comparable to the different movements of a symphony or a quartet; there are possibilities of contrapuntal arrangement of subject-matter.’ It has seemed to many that, as Eliot said himself, Four Quartets embodies ‘what the poem points at, (this) and not the poetry, seems to be the thing to try for. To get beyond poetry, as Beethoven, in his later works, strove to get beyond music.’ In 1961, Eliot’s secretary, in reply to an enquiry, said that ‘the form had originally been suggested to him by musical quartets, which are so called because they are scored for four instruments… she had particularly in mind the late quartets of Beethoven.’ In Poetry and Propaganda (1930), Eliot said: ‘Those of us who love Beethoven find in his music something that we call its meaning, though we cannot confine it in words: but it is this meaning which fits it in, somehow, to our whole life: which makes it an emotional exercise and discipline, and not merely an appreciation of virtuosity.’

In 1931, TS Eliot corresponded with the young Stephen Spender (1909-1995) about the A minor Quartet in particular, which Eliot had been listening to through the Léner String Quartet’s gramophone records. He described it as ‘quite inexhaustible to study’. Spender’s wife, Natasha, was a pianist, and in August 1942 played some of Beethoven’s sonatas to Eliot. She later recalled discussing Beethoven’s music with him during the writing of Four Quartets.  In February 1943, Eliot wrote to Edwin Muir about Little Gidding, the last of the cycle, and also the poem Eliot initially had most doubts about: ‘Thank you very much for your kind and penetrating review in The New States man. You are quite right in supposing that the Beethoven late quartets were present in the background.’

JWN Sullivan

It seems appropriate to end with a quotation form JWN Sullivan’s Beethoven: His Spiritual Development, a very influential book in the English speaking world by a man who was not a musicologist, not even a professional music critic or journalist, but a writer on scientific and literary subjects. Speaking of the multi-movement late quartets, Sullivan comments as follows:

In these quartets, the movements radiate, as it were, from a central experience. They do not represent stages in a journey, each stage being independent and existing in its own right. They represent separate experiences, but the meaning they take on in the quartet is derived from their relation to a dominating central experience.  This is characteristic of the mystic vision, to which everything in the world appears unified in the light of one fundamental experience. In these quartets, Beethoven is not describing to us a spiritual history: he is presenting to us a vision of life. In each quartet, many elements are surveyed, but from one central point of view… It is not any kinship between the experiences described in the separate movements themselves, but the light in which they are seen, that gives to these works their profound homogeneity. Without this unity, the quartets could only appear incoherent and capricious. And yet, although the unity possessed by these quartets is of this subtle kind, it is remarkable how generally it has been perceived.’ JWN Sullivan: Beethoven: His Spiritual Development (1927) Cape edition, 1930, pp.227-228

The Sonata in E flat, Op. 31, No. 3, dating from 1801/2, was played by Robert Blackburn, two movements before Nathan’s talk, and two after. This four movement sonata is conspicuous in having no slow movement as such. The Minuet and Trio stand in place of one. The four movements are:

Allegro  (in E flat)

Scherzo: Allegretto vivace (in A flat)

Menuetto e Trio (moderato e grazioso, in E flat)

Finale: Presto con fuoco (in E flat)


© Dr Robert Blackburn 2017 and Dr Nathan Waddell 2016, based on notes taken from Dr Nathan Waddell’s talk, together with many additions and amplifications


General Bibliography

Year of publication

Forster, E.M. - Howards End; 1910

Forster, E.M. - Aspects of the Novel; 1927

Wells, H.G. - Tono-Bungay; 1915

Woolf, Virginia - The Voyage Out; 1915 (begun 1907)

Conrad, Joseph - Victory; 1915

Richardson, Dorothy - The Tunnel (Vol 4 of the Pilgrimage series); 1919

Rolland, Romain - Jean-Christophe: novel sequence in ten volumes, 1904-12, English translation in four volumes by Gilbert Cannan, 1911-13

Joyce, James - Ulysses (for Sirens chapter); 1922

Huxley, Aldous - Point Counter Point; 1928

Eliot, T.S. - Four Quartets; 1944 (complete)

Eliot, T.S. (ed. Christopher Ricks an Jim McCue) - The Poems of T.S. Eliot: The Annotated Text; 2015

Sullivan, J.W.N. - Beethoven: His Spiritual Development; 1927         

Newman, Ernest - The Unconscious Beethoven; 1927

Mann, Thomas - Doctor Faustus; 1947 (original German text) 1949 (Helen T. Lowe Porter’s English translation)

Mann, Thomas - The Genesis of a Novel (Doctor Faustus), (Secker and Warburg); 1961

Fischer, Edwin - Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas: A Guide for Students and Amateurs; 1958

Rosen, Charles - Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas: A Short Companion; 2002

Dubois, Pierre - Music in the Georgian Novel; 2015