Beethoven, A Life

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Univ of California Press, Sep 8, 2020 - Biography & Autobiography - 680 pages

The authoritative Beethoven biography, endorsed by and produced in close collaboration with the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, is timed for the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth.

With unprecedented access to the archives at the Beethoven House in Bonn, renowned Beethoven conductor and scholar Jan Caeyers expertly weaves together a deeply human and complex image of Beethoven—his troubled youth, his unpredictable mood swings, his desires, relationships, and conflicts with family and friends, the mysteries surrounding his affair with the “immortal beloved,” and the dramatic tale of his deafness. Caeyers also offers new insights into Beethoven’s music and its gradual transformation from the work of a skilled craftsman into that of a consummate artist.

Demonstrating an impressive command of the vast scholarship on this iconic composer, Caeyers brings Beethoven’s world alive with elegant prose, memorable musical descriptions, and vivid depictions of Bonn and Vienna—the cities where Beethoven produced and performed his works. Caeyers explores how Beethoven’s career was impacted by the historical and philosophical shifts taking place in the music world, and conversely, how his own trajectory changed the course of the music industry. Equal parts absorbing cultural history and lively biography, Beethoven, A Life paints a complex portrait of the musical genius who redefined the musical style of his day and went on to become one of the great pillars of Western art music.

 

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Contents

A Grandfather Figure
3
The Absent Father?
10
The Early Years
15
The Mentor
23
The Young Professional
29
Bonn Turns to Vienna
34
Beethovens First Crisis
42
A Second Home and New Horizons
48
Beethoven and Goethe
318
Episode Three
330
Se non vero
337
The End of the Classical Symphony
344
Music for the Masses
353
A Lucrative Sideline
363
42
369
From Coffee and Cake to Congress and Kitsch
381

Renewed Vigor and the First Major Works
54
Farewell to Bonn
62
part
69
a time of proving 17921802
71
Karl von Lichnowsky
79
Career Plans
97
Family Friends and Loves in Vienna
111
Lobkowitzs Center of Excellence
130
Episode One
138
The Road to a Broader Public
144
A Word from the Critics
155
Carl Czerny and Ferdinand Ries
161
The Heiligenstadt Testament
168
A New Way Forward
181
Composer in Residence
199
The Mystery of the Eroica
217
Episode Two
231
33
297
New Prospects
306
An Imperial Pupil
311
The Fight for a Child
390
45
401
part five the lonely way 18161827
409
Longing for Greater Things
411
PostCongress Vienna
420
London Plans
425
A Faustian Sonata and a Diabolical Contraption
431
A Mass for Peace
442
The Late Piano Works
455
Estrangement
468
Encounters with the Younger Generation
474
An Ode to Joy
482
55
495
Karls Emancipation
499
The Late String Quartets
514
Comoedia finita est
532
Acknowledgments
541
Bibliography
601
Illustration Credits
611
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

Jan Caeyers is a conductor and musicologist. One of Europe’s preeminent experts on Beethoven, he is the music director of the Beethoven orchestra Le Concert Olympique and a member of the Department of Musicology at KU Leuven.

Bibliographic information