Beethoven

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University of California Press, Jan 1, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 374 pages
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Combining musical insight and the most recent research, William Kinderman's Beethoven is both a richly drawn portrait of the man and a guide to his music. Kinderman traces the composer's intellectual and musical development from the early works written in Bonn to the Ninth Symphony and the late quartets. Throughout, he looks at compositions from different and original perspectives that show Beethoven's art as a union of sensuous and rational, of expression and structure. In analyses of individual pieces, Kinderman shows that the deepening of Beethoven's musical thought was a continuous process over decades of his life.
Works discussed include the Joseph Cantata, many of the piano sonatas and variations, selected songs and other vocal pieces, Fidelio, the Missa solemnis, and the main chamber and symphonic music. Certain works, such as the song cycle An die ferne Geliebte, are illuminated in relation to Beethoven's personal life, and his response to the political and philosophical currents of his time can be seen in some of his greatest masterpieces.
Rather than the conventional image of a heroic and tormented figure, what emerges here is a more complex, more fully rounded account of the composer. Although Beethoven's deafness and his other personal crises are addressed, together with his ever-increasing commitment to his art, so too are the lighter aspects of his personality: his humor, his love of puns, his great delight in juxtaposing the exalted and the commonplace. Combining musical insight and the most recent research, William Kinderman's Beethoven is both a richly drawn portrait of the man and a guide to his music. Kinderman traces the composer's intellectual and musical development from the early works written in Bonn to the Ninth Symphony and the late quartets. Throughout, he looks at compositions from different and original perspectives that show Beethoven's art as a union of sensuous and rational, of expression and structure. In analyses of individual pieces, Kinderman shows that the deepening of Beethoven's musical thought was a continuous process over decades of his life.
Works discussed include the Joseph Cantata, many of the piano sonatas and variations, selected songs and other vocal pieces, Fidelio, the Missa solemnis, and the main chamber and symphonic music. Certain works, such as the song cycle An die ferne Geliebte, are illuminated in relation to Beethoven's personal life, and his response to the political and philosophical currents of his time can be seen in some of his greatest masterpieces.
Rather than the conventional image of a heroic and tormented figure, what emerges here is a more complex, more fully rounded account of the composer. Although Beethoven's deafness and his other personal crises are addressed, together with his ever-increasing commitment to his art, so too are the lighter aspects of his personality: his humor, his love of puns, his great delight in juxtaposing the exalted and the commonplace.
 

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Contents

Overture i
5
The Path to Mastery 17921798
28
Crisis and Creativity 17991802
51
The Heroic Style 118031806
86
The Heroic Style II 18061809
100
Consolidation 18101812
139
The Congress of Vienna Period 18131815
167
The Hammerklavier Sonata 18161818
189
Struggle 18191822
211
Triumph 18221824
238
The Galitzin Quartets 18241825
284
The Last Phase 18261827
308
Selected Bibliography
339
Index of Beethovens Compositions
361
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About the author (1995)

William Kinderman is Professor of Music at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and author of the highly acclaimed Beethoven's Diabelli Variations (1989). He is a pianist and has given lecture recitals in Canada, the United States, and Europe. His CD of the Diabelli Variations is on the Hyperion label.

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