Beethoven seated himself among the musicians. The string quartet commenced.

The apparition of those four different instruments still sits above me

as I write these words. Their wooden limbs and ebony

slopes, their horsehaired manes and rosined strings somehow, put together

with calm and order and calculation, made music. Nowhere else

can four disparate sounds live together in such delicate balance.

On account of his deafness there was scarcely anything left

of Beethoven’s virtuosity which had formerly been so greatly admired.

Invisible streams of sadness drip from my dry eyes when

I think about it and when I think about him.


Paraphrases from the novel The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by ELizabeth L. Silver and Beethoven: Illustrated Lives of the Great Composers by Ates Orga.