A theme of farewell runs through this program—the first of three inquiries on “late style” that PCMS presents over a four week period. Beethoven’s farewell is to the piano sonata—the medium in which he was so prolific yet ultimately declared too limiting. In Op. 111, his most central qualities—inner turmoil, humanity and spirituality—are taken to magnificent extremes. Bach’s farewell is to composition: these fugues—which do not even specify their instrumentation—are as rigorous and intricate as any music ever written. Britten’s farewell is to life itself: of the quartet’s harrowing last movement, Norbert Brainen of the Amadeus Quartet (the work’s dedicatees), said: “Ben wrote his own death.” Regarding Játékok, happily, György Kurtág is still alive and active at age 88. But nostalgia has been a preoccupation of his work, growing more precise and moving as he ages.