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On Writing and Music

I was just writing chapter 22 of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and listening to a recording of Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano No. 5 in E Flat, Op 73 and had to stop–it was soooooo beautiful! On Friday we saw “33 Variations,” a play in previews written and directed by Moises Kaufman, at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre (a wonderful space). It’s about Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and a dying musicologist’s quest to discover why Beethoven wrote them. There’s also a mother/daughter plot line, plus a romance, etc. We went because I love Beethoven’s music, Linda loves the theater, we were both curious to see Jane Fonda, at the age of 71, who plays Dr. Katherine Brandt. We were captivated–fast-paced complex, but clear and engaging (and funny at times) script; terrific cast; clever staging and set design; gorgeous music. There were times I wished I had a replay button, especially the scene when Zach Grenier as Beethoven stands alone, center front, and “composes” one of the variations as the pianist, Diane Walsh, plays it–intensely and intricately coordinated–took my breath away!

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