By William Kinderman


Set in the framework of Beethoven’s life, William Kinderman’s detailed examination of the music traces the composer’s intellectual and musical development, from the early works written in Bonn to the Ninth Symphony and the late quartets.

Beethoven’s innovations in form and style, his musical symbolism and narrative structures are illustrated in analyses of all the main works, showing that the deepening of his musical thought was a continuous process throughout his life. William Kinderman also shows how Beethoven’s response to the political and philosophical currents of his time is reflected in some of his greatest masterpieces. Although the implications of Beethoven’s deafness and other personal crises are fully addressed, so too are the lighter aspects of his personality – his humour, his love of puns, and his delight in juxtaposing the exalted and the commonplace. Combining musical insight and the most recent research, Beethoven is both a portrait of the man and a guide to his music.

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