But what genius in history is flawless? Besides the usual eccentricities of genius--disregard for dress or hygiene, often squalid living conditions, contempt for anyone who didn't recognize his genius, self-absorption--he was truculent, picking fights with enemies, friends, family, other musicians, and business associates. Ludwig van Beethoven's life - its dramas, conflicts, loves and losses, his deafness coupled with continuous health problems, his epic struggle with his sister-in-law for sole custody of her son, his nephew - is played out in his music. No doubt his difficult childhood had an impact on him, that has to be taken into account. More than that, his intended wife saw her name being dragged through the mud. There is almost no musicological analysis, which is fine with me.
The great 19th-century pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow understood. The prose was clear, and his d Written by a journalist rather than a musicologist, which he freely admits, this was a different kind of reading than the previous biographies of Beethoven that I've read. Today his music is still loved by millions. His notoriously bad temper and his constant badgering of his nephew reflect badly on him as a man. The author inserts himself nicely into the narrative, telling his readers when to pay attention to minor events because they have an important role later.
Bibliographic Record Author Editor Editor Uniform Title Beethoven im eigenen Wort. He apparently did not talk to people much, and did not write a lot about himself such as in a journal. Beethoven is one of those names that come to mind when the words classical, music, Vienna, simphony are pronounced, but how much does one - of non musical background - actually know about the man himself? I loved this book that gives great personal insight into the history and character of my favourite composer. He received recognition during his lifetime as one of the greatest composers who ever lived. I think it's the best introductory biographical book out there for Beethoven fans who are curious enough about the stormy composer to learn a little bit about who he was, but not so interested that they need concern themselves over historical debates and scholarly details. To have Suchets art of capturing every critical detail, every important facet, it made me feel there, a ghost in a room that no longer really exists as it was, the people and past behind it long faded. His family and life and personality descended into squalor even as he composed his greatest music.
F This is a new biography of Ludwig van Beethoven, the greatest musician and composer who ever lived on this earth. His forebears certainly were, and he had the scars from an abusive father and unsettled family relationships to show for it. I'm not really interested in hearing about what Beethoven's landlord's cousin's grandson said about him. It is said by many that genius and madness is finely divided and this seems to be the case with Ludwig van Beethoven, lauded by most as being the greatest composer that has ever lived. I am all that was, that is, that shall be.
Cast your vote — for truth. Beethoven, oblivious to what was happening continued to wave his arms, conducting the orchestra he was hearing in his head. Your tour guide acts as if he was a witness to it all, inserting himself into the narrative. I've very glad we have his music and I'm also happy I never had to live with the man! According to Thayer, Johann decided to confront his brother. He was never able to sustain a relationship with a woman. So I suggest boycotting this book. The prose was clear, and his description of the famous premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony left tears in my eyes.
Imagine you come to a grand museum or sanctuary--let's call it Beethoven Land. For example, he started losing his hearing in his late 20s and early 30s, which means he wrote the Third through Ninth Symphonies and the Third through Fifth Piano Concertos while partially or completely deaf. Learning about his life was a gateway to exploring more of his music. In short, stormy, but tenacious and brilliant. Certainly not a listing of dry facts and his compositions. Meeting Mozart: Watch out for that boy 4. An Utterly Untamed Personality: Beethoven turns again to his 'poor shipwrecked opera' 14.
The book can best be compared to the many excellent biographies by Christopher Hibbert, who wrote short biographies that somehow gave you a sense of what the person was all about. Suchet also doesn't try to take in intellectual, social or political history and ask how those affected Beethoven. His treatment of his nephew if the accounts in this book are true, was inexcusable. The lives and relationships of the Strauss family were certainly fascinating. What it is not is technical look at his music. Even if you are not a musician I highly recommend this book. Solomon, despite his rather annoying psychoanalytical approach, at least gives us these quotes.
It felt like I was there watching him leave this world, the world through which he created so much magic. That alone is enough to draw fascinated attention to the sheer doggedness of spirit that drove him to pour out the creative contents of a musical brain wired like no other of its day. He then tried to force his nephew to follow him into the music world despite the fact the nephew had neither the talent nor the interest in such a career. It was a miserable arrangement for both uncle and nephew. It is not dense in references as you would expect there to be in similar books designed particularly for Intellectuals of the genre. Through his own words emerges an image of a man, torn by personal problems and a tragic affliction, yet impelled by a keen sense of his destiny and place in the history of music. Suchet has written a very good look at one of the greatest composers and overall musicians in classical music.
Consider: The greatest composer in the world came from a family of alcoholics, although to be fair maybe everybody in the late 18th century was an alcoholic. Without seeming to learn anything from one stressful escapade to the next, he blundered rudely and awkwardly through intimate relationships, social engagements, chaotic finances, dozens of living quarters, and failed or disastrous performance projects. His story, as revealed by Suchet, is one of color, movement, and adversity. Almost all around him suffered from his unpredictable emotional outbursts, saddest of all the nephew who was obviously abused in ways lost to history. Every musician interprets music differently. The purpose of this book is to reveal the man behind the music. The author supposes that Beethoven asked his opinion of some of his first compositions.