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Beethoven's Letters

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  118 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), the protagonist of freedom for music, disentangled music from the control of the ruling class. In publishing his music and writing for the rising classes, Beethoven claimed freedom and expressed the emotions of the new rulers, the artists. The Eroica, Fidelio, and the piano works express the emotions of the new rulers — the intense love, t ...more
Paperback, 410 pages
Published June 1st 1972 by Dover Publications
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Michael Steger
Mar 22, 2013 Michael Steger rated it it was amazing
At times, reading Beethoven's letters, one cannot help but think that never was a greater artist treated so shabbily by God and man...

On the other hand, few artists were given as great a gift (by God, by Nature, or by what you will)...

Still, it's painful to listen to Beethoven demanding--almost begging--of some of his wealthy patrons that they finally pay what they owe him... How cheap some of these aristocrats and nobles were!

Many of these letters--particularly those to Anton Schindler--show Be
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Sep 06, 2016 Sharon Barrow Wilfong rated it it was amazing
Beethoven's are deep, deep waters with powerful surges, creating tidal waves of emotion. They are not less or more beautiful but wonderfully different.

A few things surprised me. While Mozart could be impish to the point of immaturity in mocking people he deemed of lesser talent, Beethoven was surprisingly generous. In fact, he barely mentions anyone whose playing or composing he doesn't like but spends a great deal of time pouring out volumes of praise on those he did. His praise is not superfic
Sep 25, 2016 Galicius rated it really liked it
The letters bring out more fascinating facets of his personality than the couple of biographies I previously read. Very impressive.
Thom Swennes
The Selected Letters of Ludwig van Beethoven gives a good insight into the man behind the legend. The book is divided into 20 sections that cover correspondences to friends, family, colleagues and official offices. I was struck with the business side of his compositions. The thought of a monetary value (regardless of the amount) seems almost sacrilegious when attached to the priceless works of art he produced. Like most artists of his time, he was often in financial difficulties. One can’t help ...more
James F
Feb 04, 2015 James F rated it liked it
Shelves: history, classical, music
A translation of a selection of letters by Beethoven. These letters are not as interesting as say those of Mozart; they are mostly to music publishers about prices for his works, or complaints about servants. There are some that are of more interest, about his illnesses, for example, but very little about his musical thinking or about his compositions except as commodities.
Dec 23, 2015 Elentarri rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Jul 30, 2010 Marla rated it did not like it
I give up. I've had this book for years and have tried to read it about 5 times. ZZZZZ.... Beethoven's life was no more interesting than your average Joe. Snore. That is, his life as told by this collection of letters that are agonizingly mundane. However, even as I say, "I give up"...I'm thinking about giving it another try. It's an eerie pull that keeps bringing me back.
Sep 17, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it
Wonderful insight into Beethoven! Reflections of how he was effected by the events of the times he lived in and how it influenced his music. Also, a personal look at him as a man with a deep soul, whose poetry in music will never be duplicated. Someone told me that 'Beethoven's music is God's voice on Earth' and I agree.
Mar 01, 2016 Sophia rated it really liked it
It may not be for everyone, but it definitely suited my taste. I also just really enjoy all things Beethoven for reasons I don't fully comprehend.
Carl Macki
I love this book. His letters show his indisputable greatness, and augment his music.
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Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a composer of the transitional period between the late Classical and early Romantic eras. He was born in Bonn, Germany.

Beethoven is widely regarded as one of the greatest masters of musical construction, sometimes sketching the architecture of a movement before he had decided upon the subject matter. He was one of the first composers to s
More about Ludwig van Beethoven...

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“The true artist is not proud, he unfortunately sees that art has no limits; he feels darkly how far he is from the goal; and though he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached that point to which his better genius only appears as a distant, guiding sun. I would, perhaps, rather come to you and your people, than to many rich folk who display inward poverty.” 2 likes
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