A Thanksgiving

The Te Deum hymn traces its origins back to the 4th Century and is traditionally attributed to St. Ambrose, who is said to have written it for the baptism of the future St. Augustine in 378. The Te Deum melody is one of the oldest in the Gregorian tradition and has inspired composers throughout history. Today, a journey of Thanskgiving across the rich landscape of Western musical history.

This year, I am thankful to the composers whose music has stimulated my mind and fed my soul over the last year, which fittingly started with Bach and will conclude with Beethoven. And since Beethoven is still very much on my brain, I will note that he composed a song of thanksgiving to celebrate his recovery from illness. The song lies at the heart of the third movement of his 15th String Quartet, which was composed a year before his 14th, the subject of the last entry. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ludwig van Beethoven, Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132: III. Molto adagio–Andante, “Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der Lydischen Tonart“: