The Universal Composer
This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was a genius so universal that his popularity, extraordinary even during his lifetime, has never ceased to grow. It now encircles the globe: Beethoven's most famous works are as beloved in Beijing as they are in Boston.
Edmund Morris, the author of three bestselling presidential biographies and a lifelong devotee of Beethoven, brings the great composer to life as a man of astonishing complexity and overpowering intelligence. A gigantic, compulsively creative personality unable to tolerate constraints, he was not so much a social rebel as an astute manipulator of the most powerful and privileged aristocrats in Germany and Austria, at a time when their world was threatened by the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.
But Beethoven's achievement rests in his immortal music. Struggling against progressive, incurable deafness (which he desperately tried to keep secret), he nonetheless produced towering masterpieces, such as his iconic Fifth and Ninth symphonies. With sensitivity and insight, Edmund Morris illuminates Beethoven's life, including his interactions with the women he privately lusted for but held at bay, and his work, whose grandeur and beauty were conceived "on the other side of silence."
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
Well-written account of the maestro that brings Beethoven to life as a real human
Even with all his contradictions, Beethoven remains one of the leading figures of humanity.
Look Elsewhere for Ludwig Van...
Do not purchase this book unless you are desperate to read a biography on Beethoven. I found myself desperate to learn about Ludwig immediately after being struck by a fit of Beethoven fever. The book is not written well, nor is it original. The ideas are stolen bits from other biographies. It wanders about and smacks of an author who is good at writing about dead presidents, who has a thesaurus lying around, and who thought he could crank out some pulp about Ludwig as a lark. It's a mistake.
I now would have recommended to myself Thayer's biography. Watch "Immortal Beloved," then the documentary "In Search of Beethoven," then read Thayer's book, then watch the movies again. Beethoven is such a wonderfully tragic soul who left his unique emotional imprint for all to witness. Long live Herr Beethoven! ...look elsewhere for inspiration.