Beethoven: A Life in Nine Pieces (Hardcover)

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Description


A major new biography published for the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, offering a fresh, human portrayal
 
“Illuminating. . . . Tunbridge’s pithy A Life in Nine Pieces is different and welcome: a biography presented through the focus of nine different compositions.”—Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

“Rewarding. . . . A lot of information is packed into her musical portraits.”—Richard Fairman, Financial Times

The iconic image of Beethoven is of him as a lone genius: hair wild, fists clenched, and brow furrowed. Beethoven may well have shaped the music of the future, but he was also a product of his time, influenced by the people, politics, and culture around him. Oxford scholar Laura Tunbridge offers an alternative history of Beethoven’s career, placing his music in contexts that shed light on why particular pieces are valued more than others, and what this tells us about his larger-than-life reputation. Each chapter focuses on a period of his life, a piece of music, and a revealing theme, from family to friends, from heroism to liberty. We discover, along the way, Beethoven’s unusual marketing strategies, his ambitious concert programming, and how specific performers and instruments influenced his works. This book offers new ways to understand Beethoven and why his music continues to be valued today.

About the Author


Laura Tunbridge is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford. She is the author of three monographs—Schumann’s Late Style, The Song Cycle, and Singing in the Age of Anxiety—and the recipient of a three-year Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust for a project on string quartets.

Praise For…


“Illuminating . . . Tunbridge’s pithy A Life in Nine Pieces is different and welcome: a biography presented through the focus of nine different compositions, each casting light on aspects of Beethoven’s life, character and, given equal and readily comprehensible attention, the music.”—Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

“Intelligent throughout”—Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

“Rewarding . . . a lot of information is packed into her musical portraits.”—Richard Fairman, Financial Times

“Elegantly-inquiring . . . Tunbridge’s writing has a richness which makes this book much more than an extended program note.”—Julian Glover, Evening Standard

“A book that will be enjoyed by anyone interested in Beethoven’s life and works.”—Tim Bouverie, Air Mail 

“[It’s] a book of great value, because it enlivens Beethoven through small details, human details.”—Conlan Salgado, Sun News Tucson

“Over the years, scores of Beethoven biographies have been written, some of which have fostered a number of myths about him. Tunbridge’s impeccably researched, elegantly written volume sets the record straight. . . . Music students and aficionados alike will appreciate this engaging and accessible portrait of the composer.”—Library Journal

“Laura Tunbridge pursues her subject with consistently perceptive critical acumen.”—Kenneth Stilwell, Nineteenth-Century Music Review

“We are doubly blessed that Beethoven should have led such an extraordinary life. Laura has combined the two—the genius of his music and the richness of his experiences—to shine a revealing light on our greatest composer.”—John Humphrys, broadcaster

“In a year when everyone's looking for a new take on Beethoven, Laura Tunbridge has found nine. It makes great sense to look at the composer not thematically but in selected fragments, taking us nine small steps closer to his elusive totality. Fresh and engaging.”—Norman Lebrecht, author of Genius and Anxiety

“Tunbridge has come up with the seemingly impossible: a new way of approaching Beethoven's life and music…and in every chapter a superb—and accessible to non-musicians—analysis of the music…. [P]rofoundly original and hugely readable.”—John Suchet, author Beethoven: The Man Revealed

“Remarkable…. [Tunbridge] captures the essence of his genius and character. I'll always want to keep it in easy reach.”—Julia Boyd, author of Travellers in the Third Reich



Product Details
ISBN: 9780300254587
ISBN-10: 030025458X
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: October 26th, 2020
Pages: 288

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