Voice of God

Tim Souster

  • Beethoven and the Voice of God by Wilfrid Mellers
    Faber, 453 pp, £20.00, February 1983, ISBN 0 571 11718 X

I first became aware of Professor Mellers when he lectured at Worcester College, Oxford in about 1962. The Beatles hadn’t got into the charts by then, so the theme of his lecture was probably Apollo, Dionysus and the Second Viennese School. It was very stimulating. I was particularly struck by the tiny flowered pattern on the tops of his (what I later came to recognise as) boxer shorts, which flashed into view when he gesticulated with particular energy. Whether these were manifestations of the Dionysiac or the Apollonian I was then too young to judge. In retrospect I realise of course that they were neither, but rather a corporeal parallel to the hidden decorations of Gothic cathedrals, destined only for the eyes of God.

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