Beethoven

Beethoven

Anguish and Triumph : A Biography

Book - 2014
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"Peels away layers of legend to get to the living, breathing human being who composed some of the world’s most iconic music. The author reanimates the revolutionary ferment of Enlightenment-era Bonn, where Beethoven grew up and imbibed the ideas that would shape all of his future work. Swafford then tracks his subject to Vienna, capital of European music, where Beethoven built his career in the face of critical incomprehension, crippling ill health, romantic rejection, and 'fate’s hammer,' his ever-encroaching deafness. Throughout, Swafford offers insightful readings of Beethoven’s key works. Jan Swafford teaches music history, theory, and composition a the Boston Conservatory"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
ISBN: 9780618054749
Branch Call Number: 780.82 BEE NVD
Characteristics: xxi, 1077 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates ; 24 cm

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gogo12127
Jul 19, 2015

At over 900 pages, the book might seem somewhat overwhelming if it were not so interesting and well written, with the exception of some puzzling syntax at times.

I do admit to skimming some of the technical explications of musical composition that were beyond my comprehension.
In addition to the text, the book includes a lengthy bibliography, exhaustive endnotes, many with interesting commentary, and an index that is elegant, well constructed, and generally thorough.

I think it would have been useful if the book had included an appendix of the works discussed in the text, at least those discussed in some length, along with their opus numbers and dates of composition.

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