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The Beethoven Compendium Paperback – June 14, 2010


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Paperback, June 14, 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson (June 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500278717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500278710
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,558,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By grandpiano_57 on April 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book offers chapter after chapter of information on every aspect of Beethoven. I find that every time I pick this book up, I can find something interesting to read about. Obviously the music as catalogued and described. Beyond that, details of the great composer's personality, writing style, health difficulties, as well as his known views on a variety of topics provide endless hours of fascinating reading. I am impressed by the thoroughness of this book. Listings of people who Beethoven knew or interacted with, his influences and those he influenced, pictures and descriptions of his handwriting and manuscripts, the historical perspective on the times he lived in, all clearly described. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about this great master, and to anyone who is interested in the life and times of one of the most influential artists to ever live. In summary I have found it accurate and complete and always interesting. It is an indispensable reference.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Absurdist Ad Nauseam on November 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Undoubtedly thousands of books have been written about Beethoven, but what sets this one apart from the others is its well-organized and exhaustive structure. Perhaps the best way to highlight this for the prospective buyer is to list the actual sections contained in this book. 1. Calendar of Beethoven's life, works and related events 2. Beethoven's family tree 3. Who's who of Beethoven's contemporaries 4. Historical background 5. Musical background 6. Beethoven as an individual 7. Beethoven's beliefs and opinions. Following section 7 are several more sections dedicated solely to his music. As you can see, this book offers several aspects that many others neglect to include. This structure also affords one the opportunity to go directly to an area of interest without having to wade through myriad pages. Also included are eight pages of paintings, sculptures and sketches of the maestro. This book is equally at home in the bathroom, on the coffee table, or in the study. It is an invaluable source of information for anyone desiring to learn more about this amazing genius.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book has the biography, the politics of the times, the pictures of, the letters of, the thoughts of others about him, deciphering of each piece of music, a list of his contemporaries, patrons, loves, friends, family tree... everything you could ever want to know about Beethoven's life and times!
I love this book
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt on September 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
All the key facts about Ludwig at your fingertips, plus many more you probably never knew. This book is a terrific reference, an enjoyable read, a great collection of facts and essays, and a bargain to boot. For those who think you need to be a scholar to have this level of interest, you don't. But even a scholar will find handy having so many facts in one place.

The book covers not just Beethoven and his life and works, but Vienna in general, the musical climate of the time, history, politics, developments in musicology, the scholarship of Beethoven's music, musical instruments and practices of Beethoven's time, etc. It's all very well-organized, too, with many nice illustrations of everything from Beethoven's handwriting (how can anyone read it?) to portraits of his contemporaries. And after you finish this marvelous volume, get the one on Mozart, too! I only wish they'd make compendiums for Bach, Schubert, Liszt, Schumann, Haydn, Tchaikowsky, Rachmaninoff, Sibelius, Bartok, Wagner, etc., etc.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Zimmel on March 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent resource for researching the life and works of Beethoven. The sections regarding compositions are broken down by ensemble and type, and provide important information such as performance dates, key signatures, time signatures, and movement headings. Almost all topics, including such things as Beethoven's handwriting, favorite literature, philosophies, thoughts on other composers, are covered. Very handy for reference, as well as a guide to starting Beethoven research. Well worth it at twice the price!
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