By Jan Swafford
Jan Swafford’s biographies of Charles Ives and Johannes Brahms have validated him as a respected song historian, in a position to bringing his topics vibrantly to existence. His brilliant new biography of Ludwig van Beethoven peels away layers of legend to get to the residing, respiring man or woman who composed many of the world’s so much iconic track. Swafford mines resources by no means prior to utilized in English-language biographies to reanimate the innovative ferment of Enlightenment-era Bonn, the place Beethoven grew up and imbibed the information that may form all of his destiny paintings. Swafford then tracks his topic to Vienna, capital of ecu song, the place Beethoven equipped his profession within the face of serious incomprehension, crippling ailing future health, romantic rejection, and “fate’s hammer,” his ever-encroaching deafness. all through, Swafford deals insightful readings of Beethoven’s key works. greater than a decade within the making, this may be the normal Beethoven biography for years to come.
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Extra info for Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph
Consolation was impossible. Even tears were impossible. " Many times Stephens tried to put into words what had happened to him that day, and he always admitted that words failed him. The copious tears he shed later on remembering the death he had witnessed testified much better to his grief. Words, even his own, were a pitiful substitute: "The heart of my own soul ceased to beat. The light of my life went out. Despair! Despair! " Fourteen-year-old Stephens had tasted yet another emotion. 17 To describe Alexander Stephens as congenitally melancholy is merely to characterize, to label him.
Consistently at the top of his class throughout his four-year term, he never once received a demerit from either the college or the Phi Kappas, his literary society. He naturally got along well with the faculty, but he was popular with the students too. His room became the "resort" for many of them. There, good-natured bantering alternated with serious conversation and with other treats: "fruit, melons, 29. E. , 1951), 34; Sherwood, Gazetteer of Georgia, 11213. 30. Coulter, College Life, 211. , 5964, 80.
10 But his neighbors forgave these quirks. In the first place, he often set a far better example of Christian behavior than they did. And he was always available to share with them his skills with the pen: writing their letters, notes, contracts, or deeds. Their children loved him too, 8. AHS to LS, February 9, 1853, in Stephens Papers, MC. 9. "Peter Finkle" [AHS] to "Mr. Giles" [Richard M. Johnston], November 11, 1863, in Johnston and Browne, Stephens, 33. 10. A[ndrew] B. Stephens to Mrs. Jane B.
Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph by Jan Swafford