Beethovenby Maynard Solomon
Maynard Solomon's Beethoven, first published in 1977, was instantly hailed as a major reinterpretation of the life, personality, and works of the enigmatic genius. Translated into seven languages, it is regarded by music lovers and scholars alike as the standard modern biography of Beethoven. Now, a generation later, the book has been thoroughly revised, updated, and expanded by the author to incorporate new materials and the findings of later research.
Solomon divides Beethoven's life and works into four periods. In part one, Bonn, we witness Beethoven's troubled relationships with his parents, his withdrawal into fantasy, and his emergence as an exemplary young court musician and virtuoso. Vienna: Early Years describes his move to Vienna in late 1792, his conflicts with teachers and patrons, his struggle for independence and recognition, and his efforts to master the heritage of Haydn and Mozart. In The Heroic Period, Solomon delves into the psychological, stylistic, and ideological crises that accompanied the formation of Beethoven's "heroic" style, offering probing analyses of the composer's deafness, romantic longings, and political outlook, and of his reshaping of the Classical tradition. The Final Phase depicts the collapse of Beethoven's marriage plans, the dissolution of his "heroic" style, and his turbulent attempt to seize the guardianship of his nephew, Karl. Solomon movingly traces the slow process by which Beethoven reconstructed his life and ultimately arrived at a new mode of self-understanding.
Rigorously meticulous and objective, Solomon's Beethoven is also renowned for its highly original interpretations of Beethoven's personality, his inner conflicts, patronage affiliations, intellectual and religious tenets, and the dynamics of his family constellation, especially those involving the cluster of fantasies that center on issues of birth, lineage, and ancestry. Through these we meet an infinitely more complex and human Beethoven than had been known from earlier biographies. And an extended chapter presents the evidence for Solomon's compelling solution to the riddle of Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved."
This edition includes a comprehensive bibliographical essay, numerous illustrations, and a full-color "Pictorial Biography" section that poignantly traces Beethoven's image from adolescence to death bed.
- Cengage Gale
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Older Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.01(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.14(d)
Meet the Author
Maynard Solomon is a leading authority on Beethoven, winner of the Otto
Kinkeldey Award for "Beethoven Essays" and the author of Mozart: A Life. In addition to his numerous writings on Beethoven, Maynard Solomon has written on Shubert, Mozart, and Ives. He works extensively in applied psychoanalysis and has also edited a standard work on Marxist aesthetics.
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musicaly historical and historicaly musical.... a piece of beauty experiencece and knowledge.... a must for any musicaly inclined person.... scholarly thought out, yet clear to understand.... expandes one's mind to precive the composer's self character as a animated image.... illusrates the inclination of beethoven as a living thought.... written on the best subject, by the best author, creating the best book i ever read
As a historical figure, Beethoven is all too often mythologized into godlike stature. Legends, fables, spurious speculation, and rumors find their way into far too many accounts of his life. Mr. Solomon does an excellent job af getting behind the romanticized 'Beethoven' to present us with a thoroughly researched and fascinating portrayal of a remarkable man, debunking a few of the myths in the process. The writing flows well, avoiding overly technical language without sacrificing clarity. Would be a great read for musicians, academics, and novices alike.
This was the most drab book on one of the most talented, interesting and passionate people of the last millenium. The author decided to show off his extensive vocabulary and research rather than tell Beethoven's life story with the same energy that he lived. If you are looking for an Ivy league book report then this one is for you. Otherwise I suggest you find someone who can translate the soul and spirit of this extrodinary musician with the passion he deserves.
Solomon's Beethoven is probably the least interesting biography of Beethoven in print. It is extremely dry and pedantic and does not capture the passion that was Ludwig van Beethoven. The reading is more of a tedious chore than a delight. Spend your time listening to Symphony No.5, op. 67, and Symphony No. 9, op. 125, instead of reading this abomination of a book.