Beethoven (Master Musicians Series)

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9780195313314: Beethoven (Master Musicians Series)
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Originally published as the centenary celebration volume in the Master Musicians series, Barry Cooper's Beethoven incorporates international research on many aspects of the composer's life and work and presents these in a truly integrated narrative. His chronological approach enables each work to be seen against the musical and biographical background from which it emerged. The resulting highly readable confluence of life and work is made possible - and indeed required - by the fact that composition was Beethoven's central preoccupation for most of his life, and Cooper presents a clear picture of his day-to-day compositional activity. This volume concentrates on Beethoven's artistic achievements both by examining the origins of his works and by expert commentary on some of their most striking and original features. It also reexamines virtually all the evidence - from fictitious anecdotes right down to the translations of individual German words - to avoid recycling old errors. Cooper makes impressive use of Beethoven's sketch books and conversation books in a well-formulated effort to settle controversial matters - particularly those surrounding Anton Schindler, close associate of the composer during the 1820s and infamous subject of current discussion in Beethoven studies. A unique edition of Beethoven's correspondence rounds out this presentation of one of history's greatest composers. Offering a wealth of fresh conclusions and intertwining life and work in illuminating ways, Beethoven is an essential reference for students, scholars, and everyone interested in classical music.

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Cooper's biography illuminates the reality of Beethoven's life, a refreshing departure from the usual star struck admiration of the composer. Accessible to, and essential for, the Beethoven scholar and general reader, this updated edition of Beethoven will enlighten readers through a close examination of both his works and expert commentary.

Review:

Cooper has produced a comprehensive and valuable reference source...In addition to the sizeable bibliography, a detailed list of Beethoven's compositions, a few illustrations and numerous musical examples, there is a 'calendar'...giving a year-by-year summary of Beethoven's activity against a backdrop of other events in the world of music, and there is also a very useful 'personalia' listing more than a hundred individuals of significance in Beethoven's life, with concise but pertinent background. (Richard Freed, The Washington Post)

Barry Cooper has crafted a thoroughly refreshing and reliable new biography for the 21st century. He seamlessly recounts the story of Beethoven's life and music with clarity and vigour, avoiding both hero worship and hostile attempts to tumble the composer from some imaginary throne. Cautious where caution is warranted yet perfectly willing to hypothesize, Cooper sets just the right tone in reporting and reflecting on modern Beethoven scholarship. (William R. Meredith, Director, The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies)

This balanced biography that integrates Beethoven's feelings and motivations with his music belongs wherever there are those who enjoy the great melodies, structures, and harmonic complexities of this unique figure in the world of classical music. (Booklist)

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9780198165989: Beethoven (Master Musician)

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Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2000
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