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Beethoven: The Man Revealed Hardcover – December 10, 2013
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"A big, bold biography." Library Journal
"Suchet's conversational approach allows him to present the known details of Beethoven's life while speculating effectively on the unknown. . . . A colloquial, picaresque biography." Shelf Awareness
"Breathtaking . . . Suchet has turned his vast knowledge, imagination and passion [into] . . . a memorable life that abounds with the kind of details often overlooked by researchers focused only on verifiable facts. . . . [His] intuitive understanding of human nature, social history and psychological insight . . . unwraps Beethoven’s life as a lively connected narrative, energized on every page . . . What is refreshing and novel here is the imaginative and engaging way in which a formidably tangled skein of pre-existing strands has been deftly unraveled and re-woven into a deeply moving portrait." Bookreporter
"I have loved and performed Beethoven since I was very young and have read a good deal about the life and times of this giant among composers, but John Suchet’s infectious enthusiasm and fascination, probing the details behind every step of his life, and turning sensitive sleuth when the facts are less clear, opens new vistas and makes for a gripping and thought-provoking read. Howard Shelley, Pianist and Conductor
"John Suchet offers us a fascinating and touchingly human insight into a great figure who has consumed him for decades. By exercising a genuine authority in identifying how Beethoven, the man, manifests himself in our appreciation of the music, Suchet brings an incisive freshness to an extraordinary life. The results in his 'Beethovenia' are always rigorously researched and accompanied by a child-like passion to communicate the composer's true essence." Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Principal of the Royal Academy of Music
"Beethoven's music continues to form one of the cornerstones of the concert repertoire some 200 years after it was written, and its sheer ingenuity and inventiveness never cease to amaze the perceptive listener. Knowing the context in which it was written can aid our understanding of the music, and every biography of Beethoven's unusual life has something new to say. Although some aspects of his life, such as his deafness, and his great love for his only nephew, are well known, this book also includes many details that are less familiar. John Suchet writes with infectious enthusiasm, and his avoidance of technical detail makes this a biography that can be read and understood by anyone interested in the composer." Professor Barry Cooper, University of Manchester
Top Customer Reviews
But the abrasive, even repugnant exterior enveloped an entity so musically gifted and spiritually complex that even one of the world’s most diligent Beethoven authorities acknowledges that writing the definitive, utterly complete story of the great composer’s life may be an unattainable goal. Nevertheless, Suchet comes so close it’s breathtaking.
Not content with half-a-dozen previous books aimed at serious performers, scholars and fellow musicologists, Suchet has turned his vast knowledge, imagination and passion for the Romantic-era genius to the audience that perhaps knows him best --- countless loyal music amateurs like those who tune in to his popular shows on Britain’s Classic FM radio network. That’s most of us; you and me, the friends we go to the occasional symphony concert with, the parents who really want to hear their children try and try again to play through Fur Elise, the adults who put piano lessons on their bucket-lists and actually follow through, people of all ages and walks of life who find priceless solace and pleasure in hearing a Beethoven symphony or string quartet.
For them, and anyone who cares about the profound and often visceral human story that forms any great artist, Suchet has crafted a memorable life that abounds with the kind of detail often overlooked by researchers focused only on verifiable facts.Read more ›
The book puts us in the musical life of Vienna in the 19th century.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting perspective for Beethoven enthusiasts - relatively easy to read with fewer complex musical referencesPublished 1 day ago by BR Shopper
Ever listen to Beethoven and wonder who was that mad man who wrote this stuff. How could a mind create such beauty and the Ninth Symphony? Read morePublished 6 months ago by Gene Horwitz
Two things made the author's book stand out: his human interpretation behind each major composition and how it tied into Beethoven's life at that moment.Published 9 months ago by Bob Guns, Ph.D., author of Slammed Again!
The book fleshes out Beethoven, the Man, as promised, though I was occasionally dismayed by the writer's flights of fancy,imagining details we can never know. Read morePublished 9 months ago by oz reader
I loved the way the story was told. I enjoyed the insight with the German Language. I know very little Greman, but enough to enjoy and appreciate it in the text. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Glenda P. Sorge-Wells
I love books that are written like this! The author writes as though he is talking directly to the reader and he makes clear what is factual and what is conjecture. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Charlotte Cushman
This bio is exactly as described: a personal portrait accessible to readers of all backgrounds. I spent my college years and ever after technically analyzing music. Read morePublished 15 months ago by W Zeltman, Jr.