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Michael Dirdain a "postlude" Sachs recalls his own boyhood discovery…of Beethoven and touches on the composer's importance to him. Not just the Ninth, he concludes, but Beethoven's music in general "adds to the fullness when life feels good, and it lengthens and deepens the perspective when life seems barely tolerable. It is with me and in me. And I suppose that this book is a vastly oversized and yet entirely inadequate thank-you note to Beethoven." It's more than that. The Ninth isn't a profoundly scholarly work, but it will send readers to their CD players.
—The Washington Post