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Employing a chromatic passage from the slow introduction of Beethovens String Quartet in Eb op. 74 as an example, in this paper the relationship between compositional features that can be shown by Schenkerian analysis and by interpretations a hypothetical listener may assign to musical events during the process of real-time listening is investigated, while taking account of concepts of Heinrich Schenker, William Rothstein, Leonard B. Meyer, and Eugene Narmour. The analysis shows that the specific aesthetic quality of the passage under discussion is supported by a strong temporary incongruence between perceived and analytically discovered features, and furthermore that its goal-directedness is created not only by harmony and voice leading, but also by a subtle interaction of manifest and extrapolated meanings.