Three Titans

Three Titans

Three Titans

Three Titans

Excerpt

Anyone, who has ever seen the "Fettered Slaves" in the Louvre, or the Prophets in the corners of the Sistine ceiling, will be reminded of their Promethean emotions when he listens to the Ninth Symphony or one of Beethoven's last quartettes. The fire infused by Michael Angelo into the attitude of Moses has its analogue in the rebellious mood of the "Egmont" overture, and the melancholy of the earthbound form sobs from many a great Adagio of Beethoven's.

A second path leads us from Beethoven to Rembrandt. The half-light flickering through certain passages in the later symphonies, the conflict between shadow and light which is to be perceived in the trios and sonatas of his middle period, formed Rembrandt's fundamental problem. And if the classical Michael Angelo assuredly differs from the naturalistic Rembrandt, the Florentine's lyric from the Dutchman's epic vein; no less assuredly are the two connected by and through Beethoven. In the last analysis the art of all three has yet another kinship, for each in his old age did--if not entirely abandon, at any rate alter and well-nigh repudiate his own method; the veteran Beethoven relaxed his chosen laws of rigorous construction, melodic phrasing, even of definitely appointed limi-

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