The Pathetique Sonata and other things

Last night I started watching Quartet after Rockwiz. I remember enjoying it the first time around but this time I found it all a little cliched yet meaning well. I had questions too. For example, where was Judi Dench? Surely she should have been in the Pauline Collins role. I didn’t watch it through until the end but I did record it. Maybe I’ll finish it tonight.

It did remind of the other excellent film about a string quartet with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken, re-branded as Performance for Australian release. And this reminded me of one of my all time favourite books, An Equal Music by Vikram Seth, also about a string quartet, which comes with its own beautiful soundtrack. It’s one of the very few fiction books that I’ve ever read where the writing about music seems authentic and knowledgeable without appearing either forced (i.e. LOOK AT ALL THE RESEARCH I”VE DONE READERS) or twee (CARRIED AWAY ON THE WINGS OF SONG ETC).

One day I will find a copy of the children’s book which I discovered as child. It was called She Shall Have Music and it was about a young girl who played the piano. She was very talented and it was about her struggle to realise her potential with various teachers. Published in the late 1930s it was this book that made me determined to learn the Pathetique Sonata and other things.

What’s your favourite (or least favourite) fictional depiction of music or musicians?

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