Issues Surrounding Adorno's Methods of Describing Beethoven's Late Style
There are many complex issues concerning Adorno's analysis of Beethoven's late style has many difficulties to understand. Adorno combines his analysis of Beethoven's late style with his dialectic process of late-bourgeois philosophy. This paper will attempt to focus upon the problematic aspects of Adorno's way of describing Beethoven's late style. It will cover the analysis of some technical issues in the B flat Major Quartet Op. 130, one of the late Beethoven quartets, and it will also examine to what extent this quartet can be regarded as consistent with Adorno's negative dialectic process. Adorno examines the historical conditions of society; he uses musical analysis as a medium for reaching his philosophical conclusions. These conclusions appear interdisciplinary in character. He applies the terminology of philosophy, sociology and music in his discourses. In particular, it can be understood that he sees these technical languages, especially the language of music as keywords in his philosophical viewpoint. Adorno describes his philosophical approaches in Beethoven's personality, because for him Beethoven witnessed two historical oppositions: on the one hand, the formulation of bourgeois self-confidence is the most important event in history and Beethoven represented this movement in his second period style. On the other hand, during Beethoven's lifetime the bourgeois period experienced an important crisis and this crisis influenced Beethoven's music. There was a serious problem within society and there are traces of this destructive in Beethoven's music. The most important point for Adorno lies in Beethoven's unconventional attitude. It is crucial to question how Beethoven represents an attitude against tradition in his late style. He does not admit the formal boundaries and he reveals his subjective power, as Napoleon in his demonstration of his individual power against bourgeois society.
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