And Beethoven Begat Tolstoy ...
Art is often as much a method of making connections -- this leaf inspiring that poem inciting that song -- as it is a linear blast of pure creativity. The Westside Connections Series was born in a rather canny observance of this effect. An initiative of the L.A. Chamber Orchestra, tonight's Connection, the third, brings author Mona Simpson together with concertmaster Margaret Batjer and a small ensemble including Chamber music director Jeffrey Kahane (who is also a pianist) to discuss the connections between composers Janáček and Beethoven and author Leo Tolstoy. UCLA English prof Simpson, whose most recent book is the classical music-heavy 2011 My Hollywood, talks about how Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major (the Kreutzer Sonata, named in honor of the composer's contemporary violin maestro Rodolphe Kreutzer, who scorned the work when he heard it) inspired Tolstoy's incredibly depressing novella The Kreutzer Sonata, which itself was an inspiration for Czech composer Leoš Janáček's String Quartet No. 1. Inspiration isn't like a room full of monkeys at copying machines making copies of copies, but instead perhaps a series of monkeys on springboards diving into an infinite ocean of imagination.
Mon., April 15, 7:30 p.m., 2013
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