Details

ISBN-10: 0190054085
ISBN-13: 9780190054083
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date: 08/03/2020
Dimensions: 8.30" L, 5.60" W, 0.80" H

Beethoven: Variations on a Life

Hardcover

Price: $18.95

Overview

Despite the ups and downs of his personal life and professional career-even in the face of deafness-Beethoven remained remarkably consistent in his most basic convictions about his art. This inner consistency, the music historian Mark Evan Bonds argues, provides the key to understanding the
composer’s life and works. Beethoven approached music as he approached life, weighing whatever occupied him from a variety of perspectives: a melodic idea, a musical genre, a word or phrase, a friend, a lover, a patron, money, politics, religion. His ability to unlock so many possibilities from each
helps explain the emotional breadth and richness of his output as a whole, from the heaven-storming Ninth Symphony to the eccentric Eighth, and from the arcane Great Fugue to the crowd-pleasing Wellington’s Victory. Beethoven’s works, Bonds argues, are a series of variations on his life. The iconic
scowl so familiar from later images of the composer is but one of many attitudes he could assume and project through his music. The supposedly characteristic furrowed brow and frown, moreover, came only after his time. Discarding tired myths about the composer, Bonds proposes a new way of listening
to Beethoven by hearing his music as an expression of his entire self, not just his scowling self.

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Reviews

Written in polished, clear prose, this book will appeal to those who decide to learn more about Beethoven. Recommended. General readers. – M. N.H. Cheng, CHOICE


Bonds recognizes Beethoven's remarkable aptitude for challenging the listener through mastery of variation, malleability of perspective and extremity of feeling, frequently capturing aspects of the human condition. Hence, Bonds maintains the listener is rewarded with an always revelatory reminder
of the power of music. – Samuel I. Grosby, Anthenaeum Review


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Details

ISBN-10: 0190054085
ISBN-13: 9780190054083
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date: 08/03/2020
Dimensions: 8.30" L, 5.60" W, 0.80" H
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