The Man Revealed

Book - 2012
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lluminates Beethoven's 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 nephew's life.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove/Atlantic Inc., ©2012
ISBN: 9780802122063
Branch Call Number: 780.92 BEE 2012
Characteristics: xv, 389 pages, 8 unnumbered pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm


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Sep 19, 2017

Interesting perspective for Beethoven enthusiasts - relatively easy to read with fewer complex musical references

ChristchurchLib Aug 18, 2014

"Though he suffered from deafness, Ludwig van Beethoven is considered one of the greatest composers of all time. While he had many admirers, he was often angry and sometimes cruel towards friends and associates. In this biography, journalist John Suchet delves into influences on Beethoven's personality, the education and training that helped form his musicianship, and the supportive relationships he had with others, including other musicians. Though he includes little musicological analysis of Beethoven's compositions, Suchet offers a sympathetic and informative study of his life." Biography and Memoir August 2014 newsletter

Jun 20, 2014

This was such a good biography! Biographical history is my favorite genre and I read lots of it. Many biographers concentrate on what made their subjects famous rather than the personal details of their lives. They describe their subjects' financial difficulties, family travails, illnesses, etc. but do not specify just how the subjects managed (or not) to endure all that on a day-to-day basis. For example: "Famous Person was unable to earn any money in 1839 and suffered severely from gout." Then a few pages later, the biographer will write "Famous Person traveled from Berlin to London in 1840." Well, who paid for the trip? How did the subject get around while suffering from painful gout? Where did he stay when he got to London? Few biographers choose to address these nagging, and difficult to research, issues that make their long-dead subjects come alive on their pages. But John Suchet does an admirable job of filling in such details with Beethoven's tumultuous life. He makes it clear when the documentary evidence about Beethoven is sparse and that he is speculating in his writing, but mostly he knits together Beethoven's monumental musical accomplishments along with the composer's everyday concerns and opportunities with penetrating research. After you read this biography, you will feel as though you really know Beethoven the man, not just Beethoven the brilliant composer. This excellent book will resonate in me for a long time.

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