"Adagio molto e mesto," is the instruction Beethoven gives the players in the slow movement of his string quartet no. 7. "Mesto" is not a typical marking in any of Beethoven's music. It means mournful or melancholy.
Whatever Beethoven's thoughts and struggles at the time he composed the piece, this particular music melts the heart like no other Beethoven can.
From their final concert this past April in what was a multi-year, multi-concert series of all the Beethoven string quartets, the Pacifica Quartet plays the Beethoven Op 59 No. 1 quartet with relish and remarkable depth of feeling. That performance is in this week's Regional Spotlight.