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Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the legendary figures of world culture. But who is the man behind the legend? Martin Geck offers a vivid portrait of a difficult but fascinating man with a tangled and still controversial love life. This is an expert introduction to a self-styled cultural hero, presented warts, genius and all.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
First published in German in the 1990s, these well-researched pocket biographies, part of the publisher's "Life & Times" series, discuss their subjects in terms of their influence on history as well as how they were influenced by others. Geck (Bach: Life and Work) traces Beethoven's rise to fame during his lifetime, his influence on composers who came after him (e.g., Wagner), and his continuing prominence through the 20th century. In the Prokofiev study, Schipperges (musicology, Univ. of Heidelberg, Germany) centers on his subject's struggle with the Communist government of Russia. Since both men were composers, much of the discussion involves their compositions, but the music itself is not discussed outside of its historical context. The discography in both books is rather meager, as is the bibliography in the Beethoven book. (There is evidence that a bibliography had been planned for the Prokofiev study, but none is included.) Both books are well written and reliable and will thus serve anyone needing biographical/historical studies, but it is difficult to imagine who would want to know about these composers and not want to know more about their music. Maynard Solomon's Beethoven, Lewis Lockwood's Beethoven, Daniel Jaffe's Sergey Prokofiev, and Neil Mintum's The Music of Sergei Prokofiev integrate detailed studies of their compositions with similar quantities of historical breadth. Recommended with hesitation.-Timothy J. McGee, Hastings, Ont. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781904341000
  • Publisher: Haus Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Series: Life&Times Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 178
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Geck studied musicology, theology and philosophy at M√ľnster, Berlin and Kiel. He took his doctorate in 1962 and in 1966 became the founding editor of the Gesamtausgabe of the works of Richard Wagner. He wrote a number of musicological textbooks and was appointed full professor of musicology at Dortmund University in 1976. He has edited and written many books, articles and entries into encyclopaedic works on the history of German music in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, concentrating on the work of Buxtehude, Brahms, Bach, Beethoven, E T A Hoffmann, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Wagner. He is also the author of Bach (Haus Publishing).

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Table of Contents

Introduction VII
'The spirit of Mozart from the hands of Haydn' Early years (1770-1800) 1
'Freedom and progress in the world of art' Years of fame (1800-1815) 22
The 'public' Beethoven 22
The 'private' Beethoven 38
The works in the 'heroic style' 67
'Must it be? It must be!' Years of isolation (1816-1827) 89
The late works 113
'A part of European history' Beethoven's later influence 126
Notes 137
Chronology 144
List of Works 154
Select Discography 160
Further Reading 162
About the Author 165
Sources of Illustrations 166
Index 167
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