A person can scarcely accomplish anything, especially over an extended period of time, without a decisive commitment to the undertaking. One is unlikely to find a productive niche in life by bouncing from endeavor to endeavor. Decisiveness has a value in many settings, certainly here.
Film and Stage
- Shakespeare’s Hamlet (performances by Olivier, Smoktunovskiy, Branagh, and Tennant) is a cautionary tale about indecisiveness
- Billy Liar, about a young man who lives in a fantasy world but cannot make up his mind about what he wants, or whether he cares about anyone but himself
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Beethoven dedicated his Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73, "The Emperor," to Archduke Rudolf, who was his patron and music student. Here are links to performances by Fleisher, Andsnes, Lewis, Aimard, Schnabel and Rubinstein.
- The first movement, Allegro maestoso, begins with the solo pianist unconventionally announcing the theme. This tone of everything-under-control remains throughout the movment. This is music with a powerful sense of purpose.
- The second movement, Adagio un poco mosso, is one of music’s most episodes. Despite the tender tone, the soloist takes charge, as if to reassure everyone that all will be well.
- In the third movement, Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo, soloist and orchestra proceed full steam ahead to a definitive conclusion.
- Klebanov, String Quartet No. 5 (1965) “duly brings an incremental expansion of Klebanov’s idiom in the harmonic astringency and emotional restiveness of its opening movement, qualities distilled in the Andante’s oblique progress towards a fervent climax and quizzical close. The alternatively energetic and pensive Vivace builds to a decisive conclusion.” [Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone magazine, November 2021 issue, p. 51.]