Beethoven: The Music and the Life

Beethoven: The Music and the Life

by Lewis Lockwood

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An authoritative work offering a fresh look at Beethoven’s life, career, and milieu. “Magisterial” —New York Review of Books.

This brilliant portrayal weaves Beethoven's musical and biographical stories into their historical and artistic contexts. Lewis Lockwood sketches the turbulent personal, historical, political, and cultural frameworks in which Beethoven worked and examines their effects on his music. "The result is that rarest of achievements, a profoundly humane work of scholarship that will—or at least should—appeal to specialists and generalists in equal measure" (Terry Teachout, Commentary). Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  "Lewis Lockwood has written a biography of Beethoven in which the hours that Beethoven spent writing music—that is, his methods of working, his interest in contemporary and past composers, the development of his musical intentions and ideals, his inner musical life, in short—have been properly integrated with the external events of his career. The book is invaluable." —Charles Rosen "Lockwood writes with poetry and clarity—a rare combination. I especially enjoyed the connection that he makes between the works of Beethoven and the social and political context of their creation—we feel closer to Beethoven the man without losing our wonder at his genius." —Emanuel Ax "The magnum opus of an illustrious Beethoven scholar. From now on, we will all turn to Lockwood's Beethoven: The Music and the Life for insight and instruction." —Maynard Solomon "This is truly the Beethoven biography for the intelligent reader. Lewis Lockwood speaks in his preface of writing on Beethoven's works at 'a highly accessible descriptive level.' But he goes beyond that. His discussion of the music, based on a deep knowledge of its context and the composition processes behind it, explains, elucidates, and is not afraid to evaluate; while the biographical chapters, clearly and unfussily written, and taking full account of the newest thinking on Beethoven, align closely with the musical discussion. The result is a deeply perceptive book that comes as close as can be to presenting the man and the music as a unity."—Stanley Sadie, editor, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians "Impressive for both its scholarship and its fresh insights, this landmark work—fully accessible to the interested amateur—immediately takes its place among the essential references on this composer and his music."—Bob Goldfarb, KUSC-FM 91.5 "Lockwood writes like an angel: lucid, enthusiastic, stirring and enlightening. Beethoven has found his ablest interpreter."—Jonathan Keates, The Spectator  "There is no better survey of Beethoven's compositions for a wide audience."—Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393347555
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/06/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 680,705
File size: 20 MB
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About the Author

Lewis Lockwood taught at Princeton and Harvard universities, where he is Fanny Peabody Professor of Music Emeritus. His Beethoven: The Music and the Life was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He resides in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Prologue. Youth, Maturity, Old Age: Three Letters3
1787: The Death of Beethoven's Mother3
1812: Letter to a Child8
1826: The Old Child12
Life and Works15
Part 1The Early Years 1770-1792
Bonn as a Musical Center25
Bach from the Hands of Neefe31
Kant, Schiller, and the Enlightenment35
Max Franz and the Mozart Legacy38
Family, Friends, and Patrons42
To Vienna in Search of Mozart46
The Last Years in Bonn47
Waldstein's Prophecy50
2.Music of the Bonn Years53
Early Keyboard Music53
"This passage has been stolen from Mozart"55
Composing and Sketching62
Cantatas for Two Emperors64
Part 2The First Maturity 1792-1802
3.The First Years in Vienna69
The Political Atmosphere69
Vienna as a Musical Center73
Confronting the Viennese Aristocracy74
Playing for an Elector and a King86
Entering the Publishing World88
4.Music of the First Vienna Years93
Revising Earlier Works93
Chamber Music and Piano Sonatas96
5.Years of Crisis111
The Heiligenstadt Testament115
6.Music for and with Piano124
The "New Way" and the Early Sketchbooks124
A Laboratory of Invention: More Piano Sonatas130
From Convention to Originality: Piano Variations140
New Violin Sonatas142
The Earlier Piano Concertos144
7.Music for Orchestra and the First Quartets147
The First Symphony and the Prometheus Ballet147
The French Dimension and Military Music151
The Second Symphony156
Opus 18: "I have now learned how to write string quartets"159
8.The First Maturity: An Overview169
Part 3The Second Maturity 1802-1812
9.Beethoven in the New Age181
Napoleon and Self-Made Greatness181
Beethoven and His Milieu187
Relations with Women196
10.New Symphonic Ideals202
The Heroic and the Beautiful202
The Third Symphony (Eroica)204
The Fourth Symphony214
The Fifth and Sixth ("Pastoral") Symphonies217
The Seventh and Eighth Symphonies230
11.The Mature Concertos238
The New Symphonie concertante: The Triple Concerto238
The Fourth Piano Concerto241
The Violin Concerto245
The "Emperor" Concerto248
12.Music for the Stage252
The Opera Leonore and Its Overtures255
The Coriolanus Overture262
Incidental Music for Goethe's Egmont266
13.Vocal Music269
Oratorio and Mass269
The Songs274
14.Beethoven at the Keyboard280
Improvising and Composing at the Piano280
The "Waldstein" and "Appassionata" Sonatas292
Piano Sonatas Opp. 79-81a299
Lyrical and Monumental Chamber Music303
15.String Quartets312
The "Razumovsky" Quartets312
The "Harp" Quartet and the "Quartetto Serioso"325
Part 4The Final Maturity 1813-1827
16.The "Fallow" Years333
The Congress of Vienna334
Lighter Works336
Celebrating Wellington's Victory337
New Sonatas342
An die ferne Geliebte344
Emergence of the Late Style346
17.Beethoven's Inner and Outer Worlds349
Isolation and Deafness349
The Guardianship Struggle355
"The human brain ... is not a salable commodity"358
The Final Projects363
18.Bringing the Past into the Present366
The Third Maturity366
Beethoven's Knowledge of Bach and Handel370
19.Late Piano Music377
The Hammerklavier Sonata, Opus 106377
Piano Sonatas Opp. 109-111384
The "Diabelli" Variations391
The Late Bagatelles395
20.The Celestial and the Human400
The Missa solemnis400
The Ninth Symphony411
The Political Background of the Ninth413
Changing Views of the Ninth417
Composing the Ninth424
The Character of the Ninth427
21.Timeless Music: The Last Quartets441
Opus 127446
Opus 132452
Opus 130 and the Grand Fugue458
Opus 131468
Opus 135479
Final Thoughts488
Classified Index of Beethoven's Works579
Index of Beethoven's Works by Opus Number585
General Index591

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