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the labor of MCTB2

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the labor of MCTB2
Answer
9/6/15 1:52 AM
"Before one can portray something, one must embody it," Beethoven once said.
(from a Deutsche-Welle review of a recent concert)

RE: the labor of MCTB2
Answer
9/8/15 12:18 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Indeed. Which is why the work wasn't mere editing, just as it wasn't mere writing.

RE: the labor of MCTB2
Answer
9/8/15 7:58 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
The sense of quoting that is not to question the embodiment, but to point to the difficulty of portraying it.

Beethoven was famous for agonizing through the composition process, beginning with sketchy ideas, and laboriously grinding away until the gem of a masterpiece emerged.

50 years ago, I participated, as graduate student, in the first comprehensive research on the "Kafka Sketchbooks" from Beethoven's early years (published later in a book of that title, by the professor who led that research, Joseph Kerman). They were pretty much a mess, and largely inscrutable.  Interestingly, in the part I worked on, were beginnings of Beethoven's 1st symphony, that uses ascending scales, which I suspected was taking-off, in the opposite direction, so to speak, from Mozarts very last symphony, last movement, which uses descending scales prominently. (Both works are in C-major.)

Mozarts had died a couple of years earlier, and some aristocrat who sponsored Beethoven is said to challenged him: "The throne of Mozart is now empty." I.e., go for it! But, whereas Mozart is said to have composed his masterpieces in single flashes of inspiration, Beethoven had to drudge through long processes of sketching and working, reworking, etc. In Visudhimagga terms, deep insight but slow learner.

RE: the labor of MCTB2
Answer
9/8/15 3:05 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Flash of insight is often great for starting but insufficient for ending up with the "polished gem." One of my compositions (a jazz tune) in particular has sat on the back burner for several years, taken out from time to time to try to rework the bridge; always ending up back on the back burner when I can't get the damn thing to resolve in a satisfactory way.

It's work.