Synopses & Reviews
Beethoven scholar and classical radio host John Suchet has had a lifelong, ardent interest in the man and his music. Here, in his first full-length biography, Suchet illuminates the composer's difficult childhood, his struggle to maintain friendships and romances, his ungovernable temper, his obsessive efforts to control his nephew's life, and the excruciating decline of his hearing. This absorbing narrative provides a comprehensive account of a momentous life, as it takes the reader on a journey from the composers birth in Bonn to his death in Vienna.
Chronicling the landmark events in Beethoven's career from his competitive encounters with Mozart to the circumstances surrounding the creation of the well-known "Für Elise" and "Moonlight Sonata" this book enhances understanding of the composer's character, inspiring a deeper appreciation for his work. Beethoven scholarship is constantly evolving, and Suchet draws on the latest research, using rare source material (some of which has never before been published in English) to paint a complete and vivid portrait of the legendary prodigy.
"Suchet's explanations of Beethoven's music sing to us almost as if we could hear it....Kudos to the author for this deeply moving, outstanding biography." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A big, bold biography." Library Journal
Ludwig van Beethoven remains one of the worlds best loved and most influential composers, the creator of such magisterial works as the "Eroica," the famous Fifth Symphony, and the "Emperor" Piano Concerto, yet also smaller, more intimate pieces like the "Moonlight" Sonata, and "Für Elise." But few know much of Beethoven's tumultuous personal life, beyond the fact that he is the composer who became deaf.
Beethoven scholar John Suchet has had a lifelong passion for the man and his music. In this book, he illuminates Beethovens difficult childhood, his struggle to find a wife, his ungovernable temper, his emotional volatility, his tendency to push away those trying to help him, and in middle age his obsessive compulsion to control his nephews life. In this detailed and absorbing biography, Suchet argues that it is perhaps more true of Beethoven than of any other composer, that if you know what was going on in his life, you listen to his music through different ears.
Beethoven is a full and comprehensive account of a momentous life that takes the reader on an extraordinary journey, from the composers birth in Bonn to his death in Vienna. Beethoven scholarship is constantly evolving, and Suchet draws on the latest research, as well as using source material (some of which has never before been published in English), to paint the fullest picture yet created of the greatest composer who ever lived.
About the Author
John Suchet is recognized as a leading authority on the life and works of Ludwig van Beethoven. This is his first full-length biography of the composer. He presents the morning program on Britains Classic FM, and lives in London.