Beethoven (Master Musicians Series)

Beethoven (Master Musicians Series)The Connections Between A Great Artist S Life And Work Are Subtle, Complex, And Often Highly Revealing In The Case Of Beethoven, However, The Standard Approach Has Been To Treat His Life And His Art Separately Now, Barry Cooper S New Volume Incorporates The Latest International Research On Many Aspects Of The Composer S Life And Work And Presents These In A Truly Integrated Narrative Cooper Employs A Strictly Chronological Approach That Enables Each Work To Be Seen Against The Musical And Biographical Background From Which It Emerged The Result Is A Much Closer Confluence Of Life And Work Than Is Usually Achieved, For Two Reasons First, Composition Was Beethoven S Central Preoccupation For Most Of His Life I Live Entirely In My Music, He Once Wrote Second, Recent Study Of His Many Musical Sketches Has Enabled A Much Clearer Picture Of His Everyday Compositional Activity Than Was Previously Possible, Leading To Rich New Insights Into The Interaction Between His Life And Music This Volume Concentrates On Beethoven S Artistic Achievements Both By Examining The Origins Of His Works And By Expert Commentary On Some Of Their Most Striking And Original Features It Also Reexamines Virtually All The Evidence From Fictitious Anecdotes Right Down To The Translations Of Individual German Words To Avoid Recycling Old Errors And It Offers Numerous New Details Derived From Sketch Studies And A New Edition Of Beethoven S Correspondence Offering A Wealth Of Fresh Conclusions And Intertwining Life And Work In Illuminating Ways, Beethoven Will Establish Itself As The Reference On One Of The World S Greatest Composers

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[KINDLE] ✽ Beethoven (Master Musicians Series) ❁ Barry Cooper –
  • Hardcover
  • 440 pages
  • Beethoven (Master Musicians Series)
  • Barry Cooper
  • English
  • 01 April 2019
  • 9780198165989

10 thoughts on “Beethoven (Master Musicians Series)

  1. says:

    Have you heard the one about the biographer and the musicologist So they walk into this bar and BAM some mad scientist throws them into a fusion reactor and attempts to turn them into conjoined twins The experiment is a success The creature walks the Earth But whether or not people are really looking for a hybrid biographer musicologist is left for philosophers and theologians to debate, as well as any reader of Barry Cooper s Beethoven.I enjoyed the book, and can certainly appreciate the mountainous challenge Cooper faces as a music expert trying to discuss the life of a man who spoke primarily through his music However, I don t think I can recommend this book to the casually interested I consider myself, at best, a literate listener While I felt I understood much of Cooper s descriptions of motivic development, remote key exploration, chord usage and fragmentation, and innumerable other devices, those passages were a challenge to truly decipher Even when Cooper tries to explain or outright show something in a straightforward and simple manner, if you can t make, imagine, or hear the music yourself, you re really missing out, and no one is there to hum a few bars The length and number of these passages quickly let me know this was no simple biography.Cooper applies some fair, but rigorous, criteria to the anecdotes, stories, notes, and letters he allows posterity to apply to Beethoven I certainly agree with not perpetuating Schindler, et al s nonsense The music we have, and can analyze to our heart s content to examine the technique of the man, but many of our stories are suspect Cooper relies heavily on the mostly infallible musical record to chronologically tell his story This is an interesting approach, and Cooper s commentary is well informed, but he is not allowed to truly go all out with explicitly exploring step by opus step developments by Beethoven in innovation, experimentation, maturation, and the like Why he can t continue the thread is the main strength and weakness of the book Cooper has to make room for my favorite parts I longed for what I considered the book s breaks amusing anecdotes, excerpts from letters, details of historical trips and encounters with various characters along the way, and the other things that fleshed out the picture of a man who lived for his music, but also lived beyond the confines of lined sheaves of paper We are neither allowed to follow the stories of the man from beginning to end in a cohesive and uninterrupted thread, nor are we allowed to do the same with the music Meshing the two was a deliberate experiment on Cooper s part, and like all experiments, it may not prove everyone s cup of tea.A music student might have seen things very differently, but perhaps not This book attempts to serve detailed knowledge to all audiences, and is surprisingly successful, but can be frustrating when you reach pages of material that are not your favorite story flavor Sort of like a banana split with three toppings Sure, it s all good in the end, but maybe you like the strawberry mound where my favorite is the chocolate And I m sorry, but I ll never relish the yellow stuff, whatever it is butterscotch Unfortunately, unlike in a split where I can shove the yellow mound off entirely, everything is all whirled together in Cooper s Beethoven Prepare for occasional disorientation and surprises, bring a piano if you can, any scores you can get your hands on, excellent recordings if you have them, and anything else that helps you really flesh this book out into a multifaceted experience, and it s ultimately worth it However, without effort and training much of the book may be frustrating or ignored by a reader altogether, and it s definitely not beach reading.

  2. says:

    In the final stretch of this one.Overall, a very enjoyable work It read academically and authoritatively, often including and discussing other controversial points of view and either supporting them, proving their claims dubious or impossible, or just positing that no one can or ever will be certain.The music theory explanations are interlaced with the biographical narrative From what I understand, a lot of these sorts of books separate life and works I have no experience in music except a couple of Music Appreciation courses I took in my undergrad and that I love to listen to classical Initially, I would read the lengthy theoretical descriptions about various pieces, but around 1 3 of the way through the book, I couldn t be bothered It was mostly gibberish to me, so I skimmed through the musical theory sheet music excerpts Someone with a musical background and a true joy of classical music will certainly enjoy those parts I do not believe that the personally esoteric theory discussions detracted from my enjoyment of the book, but a bit hand holding for the lay person would have could have been appreciated explaining somewhere how chords work, or what do keys mean, etc For example, in describing why Hammerklavier was a leap forward for the piano sonata genre, he kept talking about leaping thirds, and manipulations thereof I ve listened to Hammerklavier many times, and I can hear the themes in my head still don t know what part of any of it is a third.All in all, great book It was a Christmas gift and I really enjoyed it Four stars verging on 4.5, for enjoyable writing and authoritativeness and the appendices A half star deduction because in spite of a 400 page work, I still don t know what a key is I can and will Google it, but Cooper probably could have taught it in a simple and enjoyable way, no doubt.

  3. says:

    Super Inhalt Aber leider etwas zu viele Fakten machen es teilweise schwer die Konzentration aufrecht zu erhalten.Trotzdem Leseempfehlung f r Fans der alten Schule.

  4. says:

    The work of great artists is inexhaustible In Beethoven s case, his music remains a stunning achievement His achievement as a composer, together with the nature of his character, his deafness, his thwarted love affairs, and his relationships to his musical predecessors and successors, has led to a fascination with him and to a literature that is likely to be written and rewritten as long as people listen to his music As is Beethoven s music, Beethoven s life and character, and the means by which one is to understand them, are open to a multitude of approaches.In his Preface, Cooper writes at x that surprisingly little is known for certain about Beethoven He points out that some studies, such as Maynard Solomon s fine biography that appeared shortly before Cooper s own, featured a psychoanalytical approach to Beethoven that attempted a fuller explanation of Beethoven s character than those that had been attempted by other writers at the cost of questionable psychological theory and speculation in the face of a scarcity of evidence Cooper endeavors to write a biography that holds closer to the known facts about Beethoven s life and to emphasize those facts that may shed life on his activities as a composer.Cooper also spends a great deal of his book discussing the music itself He offers lengthy accounts of the origins of the symphonies, concertos, quartets, sonatas, songs, masses, of Fidelio, of the folksongs and other parts of Beethoven s output The book includes generous musical analyses and quotations I was particularly impressed with Cooper s attention to some of Beethoven s work that is not as well known as it deserves to be, such as the Opus 7 piano sonata, the Creatures of Prometheus Ballet, and the oratorio, Christ on the Mount of Olives These works are analyzed insightfully and lovingly.As Cooper acknowledges, his study is perhaps less detailed than is Solomon s on Beethoven s life His book does, however, offer its own perspective on Beethoven Broadly speaking, Cooper is sympathetic to certain aspects of Beethoven s actions than has been the case with many other writers Unlike Solomon, Cooper takes Beethoven s side, for the most, part, in his dispute with his sister in law over the custody of Karl, Beethoven s nephew Also, he disputes Solomon s account that Beethoven frequented prostitutes In both these matters, I am not sure that Cooper has the better of the evidence The portrayal endeavors to see Beethoven favorably without making him something different than a human being with fallibilities.I also found interesting Cooper s discussion of Beethoven s religious views Beethoven s views on such matters, as is the case with the views of any thinking person on these matters, were highly personal and difficult for a third party, such as a biographer writing 250 years after the fact, to ascertain and expound Cooper acknowledges that Beethoven was not for most of his life a practicing Christian but finds him a devout believer in God as the source of human morality Solomon s account emphasizes Beethoven s predilection towards the Enlightenment A difficult question, and I suspect that Beethoven had components of both views in him.Too many recent biographers feel a need to deprecate their subjects This is definitely not Cooper s approach to Beethoven For that matter, it was not Solomon s approach either Cooper writes of Beethoven that despite much sniping from twentieth century critics, his reputation as a giant among composers remains intact as we enter the twenty first century Preface x Cooper s study is not hero worship, but it presents an inspiring and historically plausible account of a composer and a man who is worthy to be revered for his vision, attainments and character This book will be treasured by those who love Beethoven s music May it encourage the reader to become acquainted or reacquainted with these works of the human spirit.Robin Friedman

  5. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It was interesting, very readable, and I learned a lot about Beethoven both his life and his music I m not at all a specialist, or even a musician, so the musical discussions were sometimes above my head, but not painfully so This is the only bio of Beethoven I ve read, so I can t make any sort of comparisons there, but I would recommend the book.

  6. says:

    This is a very fine book that nicely integrates a look at Beethoven s music with a clear, fairly comprehensive telling of his life story The book s one flaw is a defensive streak the author occasionally goes well out of his way to justify some of the composer s least defensible behavior.

  7. says:

    It s a complete and by all accounts fair account of Beethoven s life, but much of the book consists of detailed musical analysis that will have little to no meaning to a casual music lover One needs to be wise in the ways of music theory and practice to get the most out of this book.

  8. says:

    I was walking while I was reading on the side walk then I slammed into a girl

  9. says:

    Great overview for music fans

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