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JOURNEYS WITH BEETHOVEN: Following the Ninth, and Beyond [Kindle Edition]

Greg Mitchell , Kerry Candaele
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

"A passionate, deeply felt and altogether personal account of coming to Beethoven in middle age, after a lifetime's immersion in other musical forms. They understand Beethoven's eternal wildness: As well as we may think we know this composer, he constantly surprises and reinvigorates us." -- Tim Page, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer on classical music, Professor of Music and Journalism at the University of Southern California

Finally, a Beethoven for our time. In “Journeys With Beethoven,” Kerry Candaele and Greg Mitchell offer a unique and dynamic exploration of the composer’s musical, cultural and political influence, around the world and in America, today. It’s a new kind of adventure story. And now updated, in this 2013 edition.

The two longtime rock 'n rollers—Candaele is a writer, musician and filmmaker, Mitchell a journalist and author of twelve previous books—discovered a shared passion for Beethoven later in life, and in this book they probe this deep obsession. Candaele illuminates the trips for his acclaimed new “Following the Ninth” documentary set in Chile, China, Japan, Germany and London (with Billy Bragg), while Mitchell travels to famous U.S. venues, screens dozens of films related to Beethoven, and interviews a leading pianist, Jeremy Denk, and trombonist Joseph Alessi, among others.

Five years ago, Candaele set out on a journey to film the global impact of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony—in freedom struggles and in inspiring people in their daily lives.. He ended up traveling to twelve countries and four continents. Bill Moyers calls the result "a small gem of movie."

In China he discovered why a student leader played the Ninth over a loudspeaker as troops moved in to Tiananmen Square. In England, the folk/punk singer, Billy Bragg, talked about writing a new libretto for the Ninth in English. Candaele was there when his version was played for the Queen. In Japan, the Ninth is performed hundreds of times each December, often with 5000 or 10,000 singers in the chorus, intent on transmitting a message of solidarity between all people. And in a new chapter for this edition, he tells the story of how a young East German woman--and famed conductor Leonard Bernstein--marked the falling of the Berlin Wall, aided by Beethoven. As “Journeys With Beethoven” reveals, the Ninth turns worlds inside out and upside down.

In Part II of the book, Greg Mitchell—who as senior editor at the legendary Crawdaddy magazine helped create the first major article about Bruce Springsteen—describes his own journey to Beethoven and his pursuit of all things Ludwig during the past several years via CDs, films, books, lectures, and what he calls the “new LvB delivery systems”: music downloads, YouTube videos, blogs, Web forums, Twitter feeds.

He also takes us to some of the dozens of recent concerts he’s attended throughout the northeast United States and in London. He poses questions to experts such as Beethoven biographer Edmund Morris and author Tim Page, besides his very revealing interviews with Denk and Alessi. We learn how Beethoven changed the lives of famous writers and musicians, from William F. Buckley to Leonard Bernstein.

Mitchell (who writes the popular new blog, Roll Over, Beethoven) even provides a guide to Beethoven films, from the silent era to “A Clockwork Orange” and “Immortal Beloved,” and much more.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kerry Candaele's films include "Wal Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" and "Iraq for Sale" and the forthcoming "Following the Ninth." Greg Mitchell is author of more than a dozen books, including "The Campaign of the Century" (winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize). He writes daily for The Nation and is the former editor of Editor & Publisher.

Product Details

  • File Size: 227 KB
  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615596355
  • Publisher: Sinclair Books (November 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071OT7U2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,504 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sharing the journey April 5, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book, It reflects my own feelings on Beethovens music and the power of the Ninth Symphony. Its refreshing to see how after 200 years how this great music can still greatly affect and change lives. I can identify with Kerry and Greg as I had the same transformation when I first really "heard" Beethoven, I ,like Greg went on the same quest to experiance" all things Beethoven" and it changed my life.
I felt the same way Kerry felt on hearing the transcending third movement of the Ninth. It touches your very soul. If you are reading this book, or about to , then you already know that Beethoven is unlike any other composer, and his genius and ability to take you to a whole new level within your inner self is un-deniable. If you havent felt it,you need to! It's an absolute high. And its available ,all around you. This book validates that Beethoven is good for you!
When I read about Kerry's travels to all of these countries I was fascinated to learn of all the different cultures some in a time of great strife, and yet there is this one great thing, this one Symphony written by a deaf composer in the final years of his life and own personal turmoil. Is it divine? I believe so. Kerry shows us the " healing power" of this Symphony. Imagine a world that could be completely healed simply by a piece of music? where all men are brothers. How easy is that? It was Beethoven himself who said "Triumph over adversity."
This book was a great Journey with Beethoven and Im now reading it a second time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light, breezy read for Beethoven fans and neophytes February 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has two parts:

In the first half, documentary filmmaker Kerry Candaele tracks down a few unexpected ways that Beethoven's Ninth has been re-interpreted around the world. There are moving descriptions of how the Ninth was adopted as a protest song in two unexpected places, 1970s Chile and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Candaele interviews protestors and key figures who explain how the Ninth became wrapped into the fabric of these nonviolent protests. Candaele also catches up with British punk and folk rocker Billy Bragg, who recently penned new English lyrics for the "Ode to Joy", and describes the massive performances of the Ninth in Japan, which can feature up to thousands of chorus members. It's a short and thought-provoking read that focuses on individuals who connected with Beethoven's Ninth under some extraordinary circumstances.

In part II, journalist Greg Mitchell, a lifelong rock 'n roll man, discovers Beethoven at age 60 and explores the rest of Beethoven's oeuvre. Again, a light and breezy read, which may appeal best to people who similarly first start listening to classical music later in life. Mitchell describes concerts, CDs, a brief sketch of Beethoven's life, and, in a bit of padding, various unusual Google results on Beethoven and notable YouTube videos.

Solid, if brief, interviews with New York Philharmonic trombonist Joseph Alessi, pianist Jeremy Denk, and music professor David Levy are included and shed good light on how professional musicians tackle the challenges of Beethoven performance.

Overall, an enjoyable read for Beethoven fans that may be particularly useful for those who, for whatever reason, are just beginning to discover Beethoven's works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Tribute! April 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of the most enjoyable tributes I have ever read! " Journeys With Beethoven: Following The Ninth, And Beyond" nails the talent and spirit of Beethoven as well as classical music in general. Kerry Candaele and Greg Mitchell's detail about Beethoven and the "Ninth" give credence to the old axiom that "music is the universal language." Candaele's section on Billy Brag is classic! I am very familiar with the writings and talents of Mitchell and this is up there with his classic Upton Sinclair book. Mitchell talks about listening to Beethoven on YouTube and his experience up in Tanglewood. Great stuff! I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever hit a bad note on his violin or trumpet in their 5th grade Spring concert! A definite five star review!
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