Beethoven: The First Biography, 1827

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Ludwig van Beethoven: Eine Biographie appeared in Prague a few months after the composer's death, thirteen years before the next biography of Beethoven would appear. Virtually nothing is known about the author, Johann Aloys Schlosser, except that he was born in the small town of Lann, in Bohemia, around 1790 and was a partner in a publishing firm in Prague from 1827-28, at which time he published this first brief biography of Beethoven. Many writers have pointed out the flaws in Schlosser's "biography". The purpose of the present edition is not to provide a clear and vivid picture of Beethoven's life, but to enable English-speaking readers to judge Schlosser's book for themselves rather than relying on secondhand criticisms, and to illuminate what was known and believed in Vienna and Prague in 1827 - not only about Beethoven but about his relationship to Haydn and Mozart, and to the music of Bach and Handel. Copious annotations and an introductory essay by the eminent Beethoven scholar Barry Cooper put Schlosser's text into perspective and clarify inaccuracies in the original text. Available for the first time in English, Schlosser's first biography of Beethoven substantially enriches our understanding of the attitudes of Beethoven's contemporaries and fills an important gap in Beethoven scholarship.

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Over the past 30 years, much scholarly research has been conducted on Beethoven's correspondence and his music sketchbooks. Cooper (music, Univ. of Manchester, UK; Beethoven and the Creative Process ... Read full review


Translators Preface
The Biography

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About the author (1996)

Cooper is Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary in Canada.

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