Written to give thanks after surviving a near-fatal illness. Still, he was completely deaf by this time, making the composition all the more remarkable: The third movement of his string quartet opus 132, the "Heiliger Dangesang." Perhaps the greatest single short piece of music (17 minutes) ever written. Next week in NYC I'll be attending a performance of it along with a reading (by a well-known British actor) of another masterpiece it inspired: T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets."
My new Huff Post piece on all this is here.
Below is the third movement in two parts at YouTube, part I, and below that Part II. And following that, as it figures in the final scene of recent movie Copying Beethoven: