Beethoven: The Music and the Life

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9780393326383: Beethoven: The Music and the Life
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An authoritative work offering a fresh look at Beethoven’s life, career, and milieu. “Magisterial” ―New York Review of Books.

This brilliant portrayal weaves Beethoven's musical and biographical stories into their historical and artistic contexts. Lewis Lockwood sketches the turbulent personal, historical, political, and cultural frameworks in which Beethoven worked and examines their effects on his music. "The result is that rarest of achievements, a profoundly humane work of scholarship that will―or at least should―appeal to specialists and generalists in equal measure" (Terry Teachout, Commentary). Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  "Lewis Lockwood has written a biography of Beethoven in which the hours that Beethoven spent writing music―that is, his methods of working, his interest in contemporary and past composers, the development of his musical intentions and ideals, his inner musical life, in short―have been properly integrated with the external events of his career. The book is invaluable." ―Charles Rosen "Lockwood writes with poetry and clarity―a rare combination. I especially enjoyed the connection that he makes between the works of Beethoven and the social and political context of their creation―we feel closer to Beethoven the man without losing our wonder at his genius." ―Emanuel Ax "The magnum opus of an illustrious Beethoven scholar. From now on, we will all turn to Lockwood's Beethoven: The Music and the Life for insight and instruction." ―Maynard Solomon "This is truly the Beethoven biography for the intelligent reader. Lewis Lockwood speaks in his preface of writing on Beethoven's works at 'a highly accessible descriptive level.' But he goes beyond that. His discussion of the music, based on a deep knowledge of its context and the composition processes behind it, explains, elucidates, and is not afraid to evaluate; while the biographical chapters, clearly and unfussily written, and taking full account of the newest thinking on Beethoven, align closely with the musical discussion. The result is a deeply perceptive book that comes as close as can be to presenting the man and the music as a unity."―Stanley Sadie, editor, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians "Impressive for both its scholarship and its fresh insights, this landmark work―fully accessible to the interested amateur―immediately takes its place among the essential references on this composer and his music."―Bob Goldfarb, KUSC-FM 91.5 "Lockwood writes like an angel: lucid, enthusiastic, stirring and enlightening. Beethoven has found his ablest interpreter."―Jonathan Keates, The Spectator  "There is no better survey of Beethoven's compositions for a wide audience."―Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times Book Review 50 illustrations

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About the Author:

Lewis Lockwood taught at Princeton and Harvard universities, where he is Fanny Peabody Professor of Music Emeritus. His Beethoven: The Music and the Life was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He resides in Brookline, Massachusetts.

From Publishers Weekly:

Although he breaks no new ground, Lockwood (a Harvard professor emeritus in music and a leading Beethoven scholar) does offer an extremely cogent account of the works as they relate to the well-known three phases of Beethoven's remarkable creative life. It's appropriate that the title places the music first, because it is Lockwood's highly observant account of the composer's musical development that will strike readers most forcibly. There is nothing much new to say about the life, and here Lockwood only goes through the motions, pausing only to observe that despite all the speculation, it is doubtful that Beethoven ever enjoyed the physical love of a woman, notwithstanding his many infatuations and sometimes passionate letters. On the music, however, he has many fine insights, particularly into Beethoven's very conscious and determined development of his skills, and his often-neglected splendor as a melodist. A regular Beethoven listener could do worse than use Lockwood's accounts of the works, particularly the middle and late ones-he's inclined to give scant shrift to anything before the Opus 18 quartets-as concert or record notes, written at exactly the right pitch for knowledgeable music lovers who don't have a score in front of them. Lockwood is also thorough regarding the impact of such previous masters as Handel, Bach, Mozart and Haydn on Beethoven's art. Many illustrations not seen by PW; in an unusual extra, about 100 musical examples linked to the book are available on a dedicated Web site.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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