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Beethoven  By  cover art

Beethoven

By: Laura Tunbridge
Narrated by: Laura Tunbridge
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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Featuring integrated music and full orchestra recordings. 

Ludwig van Beethoven: to some, simply the greatest ever composer of Western classical music. Yet his life remains shrouded in myths and the image persists of him as an eccentric genius shaking his fist at heaven.

Beethoven by Oxford Professor Laura Tunbridge cuts through the noise in a refreshing way. 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. It's a winning combination of rich biographical detail, insight into the music and surprising new angles, all of which can transform how you listen to his works. We discover, for example, Beethoven's oddly modern talent for self-promotion, how he was influenced by factors from European wars to instrument building and how he was heard by contemporaries.

This tour de force - published for the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth - provides a fresh overview and a wealth of material that has never been revealed to the wider public before. It's a compelling, human portrayal of Beethoven and a fascinating journey into one of the world's most amazing creative minds.

©2020 Laura Tunbridge (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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  • Linda Nicholson
  • 03-30-21

Excellent

I really enjoyed the book I didn’t understand all of the technical musical bits though

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mac
  • 10-18-21

Excellent.

Brilliantly written and read. Thoroughly engaging from start to finish. This is how it's done.

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  • Acteon
  • 01-03-21

Good though not entirely satisfying

This audiobook was good, but though I'm grateful to have listened to it, it left me not quite satisfied. As it is relatively short, I had thought I would recommend it to friends who are not classic music lovers, but in the end, other books seemed more suitable to draw them closer to Beethoven.

I would have to listen to it again to give more detailed comments, but it's uncertain whether I will given the number of books that beckon.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-27-22

First Beethoven biography I've made it through!

Lifelong Beethoven fan here. This was such rewarding listen. The author covers his beginnings and professional life by thoroughly contextualising a selection of his pieces. Perhaps even more compelling than the workhorse works discussed are pieces that may seem insignificant to modern fans.
The author effectively blends biographical sections with relevant facets of Viennese life and society, leaving even longstanding Beethoven appreciators with a fuller and more coloured picture of his life and the world he inhabited.
Tunbridge the classical music devotee and Tunbridge the academic feel one and the same - an aspect of the book I continually found fresh. The text always feels contemplative, descriptive, convincing and purposeful when it needs to be. She really cuts through the crap... I mean uh... examines the historicity of many overworked episodes in Ludwig's usual biography.
What luck for us listeners that the author is not only accomplished in research but also so radiogenic.