Keller was famous for his illustrated public lectures on music, and this volume publishes for the first time the full text of his celebrated 1973 series on Beethoven’s Op.130.
Keller gave these lectures at the invitation of Alexander Goehr, and they were illustrated live by the Aeolian Quartet and broadcast by the BBC. They were in part a response to Joseph Kerman’s newly published monograph on The Beethoven Quartets, and in part a demonstration of his “two-dimensional theory” of music, which posits a vital tension between “well-defined expectations” and ‘”what the composer does instead”. These lectures have now been transcribed, and appear in print here for the first time: they form Keller’s most substantial examination of a single chamber work. Keller had intended a full-length monograph on the quartet, but never got further than three chapters, of which the second, on “String-quartet Playing”, is included here along with related materials. The book comes with a supplementary volume of music examples, including the entire score of Op. 130, and is illustrated with lively string-quartet drawings by Keller’s wife, Milein Cosman.
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