On April 15th, Jeremy Eichler had a wonderful article in the classical music section of The Boston Globe, wondering who Proust really had in mind when he talked about Vinteuil's Septet. Pretty heady stuff for the Sunday Globe. I had always assumed Proust had Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 1, Opus 75 in his head. I thought I had even identified the "petite phrase."
Maybe not. Eichler makes a good case for three late Beethoven quartets, 130, 131, and 132. He heard them performed in the new concert hall at our Isabella Stewart Museum and thought of Vinteuil's Sonata. As I write I'm listening to Saint-Saens and I think I hear it now.
Nonetheless, I'm going to play those Beethoven Quartets and try to determine if they contain the little phrase. Eichler has written a wonderful synopsis of the Proust/ Vinteiul conundrum and plays musical detective to give us greater insight into music in Proust.
Here is the link: Is Vinteiui's Music Beethoven's Late Quartets?