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Like many biographies, the book reveals more about the author than the subject. Sullivan, who is not a musician, offers some interesting, if sometimes extravagantly extramusical, analyses of Beethoven's works (though elsewhere he decries injecting "meaning" into music). He sees Beethoven's late fugues as outbursts of "blind and desperate energy," another battle with hostile fate; many musicians see them as another battle with counterpoint. He also makes subjective, high-handed value judgments: he detests Wagner and dismisses Bach as too religious, while Haydn and Mozart are too shallow to equal Beethoven's struggle-generated "spirituality." The book also brings up questions about beauty and greatness in art, the relationship between moral character and genius, and the impact of a man's personal experiences upon his creativity--all age-old but forever timely. --Edith Eisler
After having read all the previous five star reviews I find that I really can’t disagree with any of them. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Andrew Billek
This is the kind of book which certain people will call BELOVED. I have been one of them, when I first read it at age 16 when I was listening to the symphonies and concertos of... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Daniel B.
I bought this for a gift But when I read this book about 7 yrs ago I was overwhelmed with the importance of Beethoven and his struggles in his life. Read morePublished 11 months ago by karenstaehle
I thought this was going to be a chronicle of how Beethoven accessed inspiration and turned it into song. Few if any clues are to be found here. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Rehu
Artists of all persuasions have a story to tell. Artistic genius is the manifestation of the artists journey from despair to hope. Read morePublished on November 13, 2012 by Phyllis Antebi Ph.D
Written in wonderfully old fashioned English, Sullivan illuminates the meaning of much of Beethoven's music. His ideas may be too specific for many listeners, but they all fit. Read morePublished on January 26, 2010 by Michael D. Kontor
This is a wonderful little book. I can't remember if I ordered a used issue or new, but it came looking like new. Read morePublished on December 20, 2009 by Margaret B. Lander
the amazon search does not bring up
the softcover edition as an option...
40.00 or 9.00? Read more
This is the best book about music that I have read, and my recent (fourth in 35 years) reading solidified this opinion. Read morePublished on May 3, 2008 by Howard Gardner Stevenson