An authoritative and refreshing account of Beethoven’s life and music, for the 250th anniversary of his birth.
Ludwig van Beethoven: to some, the greatest ever composer of Western classical music. Yet his life remains shrouded in myths, and the image persists of him as an eccentric genius shaking his fist.
Beethoven, by Oxford professor Laura Tunbridge, cuts through the noise in a refreshing way – with each chapter focusing on a period of his life, a piece of music and a revealing theme, from family to friends, heroism to liberty. Its a winning combination of rich biographical detail, insight into the world of music, and startling revisionism, which transforms how you listen to his work. We discover, for example, Beethoven’s seemingly modern self-promotion, how his composing was influenced by changes in instruments, and thanks to new academic research, how he was listened to: at the time, Ode to Joy was often not even played when his Ninth Symphony was performed.
This tour de force, written by an expert new voice – published for the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth – provides a peerless overview and a wealth of material that has never been revealed to the wider public before. It is a fresh, human portrayal of Beethoven and a concise way into one of the world’s most amazing minds.