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Beethoven's Letters (Dover Books on Music) Paperback – June 1, 1972


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Beethoven's Letters (Dover Books on Music) + Beethoven As I Knew Him (Dover Books on Music) + Beethoven, Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Music
  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (June 1, 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486227693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486227696
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)

About the Author

The triumphant genius of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) casts a long shadow over classical music — no other composer of the past two centuries has exercised an influence more profound than his. A product of the classicist generation, he was the first of the Romantics, and his exhilarating works remain undiminished in their powers of enchantment.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence W. Boldt on April 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book told by Beethoven himself. Considering the large volume of compositions written by Beethoven, it is amazing the amount of Beethoven's letter-writing. Many of his letters describe work-in-progress. Others talk about his patrons, fellow musicians, publishers, and personal friends. There are even some letters written to some of the women Beethoven admired. There are musical quotations of different compositions that were works-in-progress. Some of the pages show copies of some of Beethoven's actual scores. The translator lavishly uses footnotes to describe the historical background surrounding the period of Beethoven's life.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By DOROTHY on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How could it not be fascinating? The real thing - he was not writing with the thought that his letters would ever be published and as the editor says - how can we judge a genius by ordinary means?? His personal life was extreme, but his letters show us the real man with a true heart and extreme emotions. I just loved this book. I'm not a music specialist - this book is written for the general public - I love classical music and play the piano - but now as I play Beethoven his life rings out more meaningfully to me and I forgive him his sins of passion - as I thrill in playing the music of this genius.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Vacchino on June 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Beethoven's Letters
As a pianist, teacher, adjudicator, examiner, critic and author, I am often presented with performances of Beethoven's works that offer no insight or understanding of Beethoven the man or his music! When giving master classes, I encourage students to read his letters and analyze his music before attempting to perform it. Most consider Beethoven an unpleasant, angry, reclusive human being! Beethoven's letters prove these thoughts to be totally invalid! When writing to his brothers (Heiligenstadt Testament),Beethoven shows an essence of lament because he is so distraught about the false opinions of others toward him. In his letter's we find the true essence of this great man.
Beethoven was a man of morality, truth, and beauty very much like Schubert. Beethoven's deep love of nature is well-known and well documented in his letters and shows in his music too! He was a deeply religious man. Beethoven's attitude may have been more of conventional Catholic ecclesiastical views, but as his letters show, there are countless evidences of his spirituality.
In Beethoven's letter's the fundamental differences are clear. I feel the most important ones are these:
Purity. There is never one single moment of something demonic or unhealthy in his music.
Dignity. He is always completely honest in his music. And there is never a trace of something that might be interpreted as self pity. Pain and sorrow, yes, but nothing to suggest that he ever felt sorry for himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ken on February 17, 2014
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What an amazing man! These letters are full of emotion and reveal much about Beethoven, the man and his life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These letters provide valuable insights into the mind of Beethoven, and if you're a fan you'll find them very interesting. But, I found that the letters stopped in early 1817, whereas the title suggests they should go up to 1826. This was very annoying, since I was getting very interested, and wanted to follow B's thoughts right up to (as close as possible) his last days.

I'm not sure if my download had a problem, because I wasn't allowed to re-download (I received a message to the effect that the book had already been downloaded). Now I'm left feeling very deprived. So, watch out!
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By Dean Brunel on February 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The letters stop too soon, although it is wonderful to learn so many interesting , and often mundane, features of the man.Will there be a sequel, with later letters? Dean Brunel
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