Many great works of art are born from tragedy, strife and struggle. These three pieces, written in different parts of the world in different time periods, represent the struggles each composer faced. In 1915 France was in the midst of World War I, and Debussy struggled with the cancer that would take his life. In addition to Napoleon’s invasion of Vienna and his deteriorating relationships with family, Beethoven also had to contend with deafness while writing Op. 95, one of his most celebrated quartets. And the String Quartet No. 6 was the last piece of music Bartok wrote in his native Hungary, having to flee the Nazis in World War II.
Claude Debussy – Sonata for flute, viola and harp
Ludwig Van Beethoven – String Quartet in F minor, op. 95
Bela Bartok – String Quartet No. 6