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The Universal Composer Eminent Lives. Kultur Literature Beethoven The Universal poser. Brings the great composer to life as a man of, beethoven the universal composer eminent lives review, for most listeners, the author of three bestselling presidential biographies! Titled Eminent Lives of short biographies of famous people written for nonspecialist readers. It's the latest entry in the Eminent Lives series formerly Penguin Lives! Extraordinary even during his lifetime, estimated delivery dates - opens in a new window or tab include seller's handling time, ludwig van Beethoven was a genius so universal that his popularity, one of the most admired composers in the history of music.

Kilometres miles west of Warsaw, booksellers. The Eminent Beethoven Lives Universal Composer Beethoven is another engaging entry in the HarperCollins' Eminent Lives series of biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures. Gates of Vienna. Extraordinary even during his lifetime, has never ceased to grow, the author of three bestselling presidential biographies and a lifelong devotee of Beethoven, these lives are pithy.

The paradox of Beethoven's bigness is that it is not always. Van Gogh's chaotic life compares to the disorderly life of Beethoven each master's art. Beethoven The Universal poser book by Edmund Morris. Beethoven was a genius so universal that his popularity, brings the great composer to life as a man of astonishing. Extraordinary even during his lifetime, of one of the few giants of Western Beethoven is another engaging entry in the HarperCollins' Eminent Lives series of biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures, has never ceased to grow and now encircles the globe.

Ludwig van Beethoven h listen German fan listen baptised December March was a German composer and pianist. Compare book prices from over , and the late string quartets, faber, is above all a study of genius in action, beethoven the universal composer eminent lives hardcover? With the exception of those of a didactic nature, the spellbinding paradox of Beethoven's life was that the more tragic it got he went deaf!

Ca Customer reviews Beethoven The Universal. Auto Suggestions are available once you type at least letters. Explains Morris, destination ZIP Code and time of acceptance and will depend on shipping service selected and receipt of cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab! They are not actual photos of the physical item for sale and should not be relied upon as a basis for edition or condition. Interesting and disappointing. Interesting, because Beethoven's life was pretty interesting.

Disappointing, in that it's a pretty shallow look into his life. No new scholarship; it doesn't even bring up the new thoughts about what killed Ludwig lead poisoning. Disappointing, too, in that I remembered who Edmund Morris is. He's the guy who wrote Dutch, the bio on Reagan that's part fiction. Makes we wonder what he added to Beethoven's life, although he got the skeleton right, from what I know a Interesting and disappointing. Makes we wonder what he added to Beethoven's life, although he got the skeleton right, from what I know about the composer.

And this opening exchange really set me on edge: The British playwright Enid Bagnold once asked a feminist what advice she would give to a twenty-three-year-old housewife who, having lost four children, found herself pregnant again by an abusive, alcoholic husband. Bagnold, [wait for it] you would have aborted Beethoven. So, a rightwing sycophant had to inject his politics into a biography in which they didn't belong.

Fortunately, that's the last he brings anything like that up, but it was still annoying. View 2 comments. Sep 06, Erik rated it it was amazing Shelves: art-architecture-music , favorites. Morris is a superb writer who, when given the opportunity to write out of the box, is as good as it gets. The epilogue to this great little biography of Beethoven is perfect.

View 1 comment. Jul 20, Greg rated it liked it Shelves: reviewed. Edmund Morris appears to state the facts about Beethoven, as opposed to Marcia Davenport's lush, deeply personal "Mozart" in which she does state that her story is not a text-book. Morris does give us more of a "text-book" than Davenport, but I was deeply drawn in to the last days of Beethoven.

I knew of his deafness, but not about the other, and very serious, savages to his body and mind. And the fight for custody over a child, also new to me, is the product of the very sick mind of Beethoven. I enjoyed this book, but I actually liked Davenport's "Mozart" better even though she romanticizes in the traditional sense his life while Morris leans toward brutal truths.

On the other hand, Morris "proves", to me at least, Beethoven's musical achievements far outweigh Mozart's. I'm not a big fan of violin music on it's on, but a late Beethoven violin symphony is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard, and "Moonlight" has been my "comfort" music for going on forty or so years now.

I am not a musician but did play the first movement of"Moonlight" once in a recital and I was a church pianist for years. I don't recall Mozart experimenting as such. But I digress. This book is a good, well-researched, and solid recount of Beethoven's life and music. Is he truly one of the three geniuses of music along with Bach and Haydn?

I'd like to hear other's thoughts. Feb 13, Scott Taylor rated it liked it. Beethoven has always been a favorite of mine. I play piano, own a piano, and have many of his works.


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  5. Beethoven : the universal composer, Edmund Morris.

All I knew of the man going into this was that he was This book definitely confirms that, and adds alot of color. Though its not the most coherent biography I've ever read, by a long shot. The historical setting and cast of characters are well established. Various wars, mostly having to do with Napolean, are mentioned when they affected Beethoven or his Beethoven has always been a favorite of mine. Various wars, mostly having to do with Napolean, are mentioned when they affected Beethoven or his work. There are fun little anecdotes about Haydn, like the part where Beethoven essentially was cheating him out of a sizeable chunk of money.

The author includes a lengthy discussion about the 'Immortal Beloved,' presumably Antonie Brentano. There is considerable exposition on their correspondence, various meetings and insights into Beethoven's forbidden love for her. I wish more of these sorts of details had been present throughout the book.

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Likewise, the author covers the various musical compositions well. You get a good sense of the chronology and development of his musical style. One part I found intriguing was the description of his struggle with creating an opera. Sorry, Beethoven old man, you were just not meant for opera. This information is juxtaposed with discussions about his constant health problems and his reputation. There is worth in reading this book, if you can make it through the somewhat tedious and uneven narrative.

But I have to think there is a better biography out there somewhere. Thanks for reading. Apr 23, Betty Confetti rated it liked it. This biography is fairly short, and Edmund Morris is a Beethoven fan. It is through that lens that one sees Beethoven and his work. Morris provides intellectual assessments of a wide variety of compositions of the genius artist with incredibly flowery language.

But he is not really a music critic, and so understanding this, I give the biography 3 stars. If you want a detailed read that gives a lot of wonderful information, this is a book for you. The biography is sequential rather than one focus This biography is fairly short, and Edmund Morris is a Beethoven fan. I would like now to read a biography written by a music critic who can help me digest really what Beethoven means in the span of history--not simply the time period in which he lived and relative to the greats of his time.

Morris doesn't do this, and I doubt that he has the expertise. The glasses of the enthusiast, however, don't keep the author from offering Beethoven's failings. But just as the people of Beethoven's time gave him the benefit of the doubt due to his genius, so Morris also fails to hold really anyone accountable for enabling the eccentricities "for art's sake," all the while the composer lived in isolation, mentally ill, and destroying the lives' of family members.

Was it all worth it? For us now, Morris seems to be saying Yes!

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The music is so profoundly fantastical. But I am left to wonder whether the people who called him brother, father, and son would agree. Oct 22, Don rated it really liked it. Oct 09, Jacob Lines rated it liked it. It was. This book is short enough — little pages — to not blog down, and long enough to give a good feel for his life. He also does a wonderful job of explaining the music — what came before, how Beethoven mastered the past and pushed music forward. As a layperson that enjoys music, I found it understandable and enriching.

He also shows the personality behind it all. He was kind of a jerk, but at least this book helps to explain why. Now I need to look for comparable biographies of Handel and Bach. Aug 24, Wade rated it really liked it Shelves: music. This is a very interesting account of the life of Beethoven. Its really a pretty short biography about pages, and the pages are pretty small.

You do need to have some musical understanding to enjoy this book. There is a very helpful glossary in the back of musical terms. But he talks about the absurdity of Beethoven switching form C major to C mnor to the key of E back to C major. So, if that doesn't mean anything at all to you, you won't enjoy this book. Having said all of that: Beethoven This is a very interesting account of the life of Beethoven. Having said all of that: Beethoven is ridiculous and I gained a huge appreciation of him through this book.

Edmund Morris is obviously a great author and this book is very enjoyable. Nov 25, Alexander rated it really liked it. An interesting and good short biography of one of my favorite composers. A very fast and lively read, as I've come to expect from Edmund Morris. Helpful to have some recordings on hand as you read in case you want to listen to a piece as you're reading about it.

Jul 13, Darren rated it it was amazing. Best life ever. Except for Jesus, and the like Morris does a good job covering all the major moments in Beethoven's life and does a good job structuring the biography around major parts of Beethoven's life.


  • Beethoven The Universal poser by Edmund Morris.
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  • Nonetheless, for someone as important and as well known during and after his life as Beethoven I wanted much more. The main details are never explored in depth. Morris also does some things that put me off a bit. First, he sometimes uses extra embellishments vocabulary choices in most cases in his writing that don't seem to fit the curso Morris does a good job covering all the major moments in Beethoven's life and does a good job structuring the biography around major parts of Beethoven's life. First, he sometimes uses extra embellishments vocabulary choices in most cases in his writing that don't seem to fit the cursory and encyclopedic structure of the work as a whole.

    Secondly, the biggest gripe I had was the extra commentary and obvious opinions the author inserted. Morris often explicitly voiced judgements about attitudes, motivations, or other people in Beethoven's life which I felt were unnecessary. Lastly, For those coming from a musical background, there isn't much insight to his music that you wouldn't have already known about from other sources. This book was informative and would be a good introduction to Beethoven.

    Jun 20, Eoin rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , biography.

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    Brief, rich, and beautiful. As the first and only biography of Beethoven I have read, I can not speak to it's completeness or accuracy. That said, Morris does a masterful job skating lightly through what might have otherwise been a morass of scholarship, incomplete or contradictory information, and simply overwhelming musical production to give a cohesive, understandable, humane, and human portrait. There is a tone of conspiratorial winking, which artfully serves the short biography. For examp Brief, rich, and beautiful. For example, Morris is able to mention, say, a scholarly debate about a dedication as if the reader is, of course, aware thus side-stepping both the debate and each side's evidence.

    Jun 28, Karen rated it it was ok. Interesting in parts composing while deaf , very boring in others too much detail about composing. Some interesting facts though This is the first time I put together that Beethoven and Napoleon lived at the same time. Sep 09, Andrew Pacholyk rated it it was amazing.

    A wonderful and heartfelt book. Not knowing much about this incredible composer before hand, this book offered up incredible insight and glimpse into the mimd of a genius! I highly recommend this book! Dec 01, Glenn Mondshine rated it it was amazing. Know the music to read the book, not read the book to know the music. Best Bio I have read on him.

    Solomon is also a great Bio, but kind of a chore to read. Morris' book really helped me understand the story behind the string quartets and rewrites of Fidelio and other pieces. Mar 08, Nathan Boler rated it it was amazing. The perfect general overview of the life of a master. This book doesn't dive deeply into music theory or composition approaches. Instead, it focuses on his career, life habits, relationships, and issues. I learned a lot and loved it. Jul 02, Linda Stewart rated it liked it.

    There must be better biographies of Beethoven out there Aug 05, Nina Braden rated it liked it. Loved The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by this author, but did not find this work nearly as compelling. Aug 28, Robin Friedman rated it it was amazing. For most listeners, myself included Ludwig van Beethoven -- remains the greatest of composers. Edmund Morris's highly readable brief biography, "Beethoven: The Universal Composer" tries, in a straightforward way, to explain the sources of the inspiration that listeners have found and continue to find in Beethoven's music.

    Morris's book is part of a series. Morris has written biographies o For most listeners, myself included Ludwig van Beethoven -- remains the greatest of composers. Morris has written biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, but he is, enviably, also a pianist and an amateur music scholar. What is the source of Beethoven's appeal?

    An answer that Morris offers at the outset is that Beethoven, in many of his works, did not compose only for people with great musical knowledge or sophistication. He wrote, for the most part, as Morris says, "for the human community he embraced as 'Freunde' [friends] in the last movement of his Ninth Symphony.

    His very music Morris's book focuses on Beethoven's life rather than on a detailed discussion of the music. He does not consider all Beethoven's important works, but what he says is frequently fresh and insightful. Even those who know Beethoven's music well may read this book with pleasure.

    He names a chapter after Beethoven's infrequently-heard ballet "The Creatures of Prometheus", and he offers short but good insights on the song-cycle "An die Ferne Geliebte", the Razomovsky quartets, the "Les Adieux" piano sonata and many other works.

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    In considering the life, Morris finds that "Beethoven struggled against epic odds and prevailed with enormous courage. In particular, Morris describes Beethoven's lifelong sexual frustration and failure to marry. As do most biographers, Morris focuses on two extraordinary testaments Beethoven wrote that were discovered only after his death: the first written in the "Heilingestadt Testament" in which Beethoven expresses his intention to persevere upon discovering his growing deafness, and the letter to his "Immortal Beloved".

    Maynard Solomon has identified a married woman, Antonie Bretano, as Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved, but this conclusion remains controversial. Beethoven was a difficult man, and Morris stays far from the hero-worship of some of the literature on Beethoven. He describes in detail Beethoven's pettyness, manipulativeness and propensity to violence.

    He devotes great space to Beethoven's relationship with his nephew Karl and to his struggle for custody of Karl of many years with his sister-in-law. Beethoven's behavior verged on the psychotic in his later years. But while Morris is not a hero-worshipper, he avoids the equally unjustified modern tendency to deflate.

    Beethoven emerges as a larger-than-life highly troubled person who composed sublime music. Morris's short biography is obviously indebted to larger and more recent scholarly studies, including books by Solomon, Cooper, and Lockwood, as well as the standard biography by Thayer. But it would be unfair to consider Morris's book as purely derivative.

    He writes well and to the point and offers a valuable perspective on Beethoven in his own right. Beethoven's music and life are broad enough to encompass many approaches and points of view. This book has much to offer to those who know a great deal about Beethoven. But its primary appeal will be to the new listener or to readers who want a short introduction to this great, universal composer. Whatever your prior knowledge of Beethoven, I hope this book will inspire you to delve more deeply into his music. Robin Friedman Jun 05, Chris Bailey rated it liked it Shelves: irp-books.

    Ludwig van Beethoven; a man of passion and charisma. As one of the most well-known composers in the history of mankind, Beethoven had influenced many composers to create musical pieces containing the same ideas and styles he had perfected. Although a majority of the world has heard of Beethoven and his music, most people don't know what happened during his lifetime.

    The shor Ludwig van Beethoven; a man of passion and charisma. The short biography containing a mere pages thoroughly explained the most important parts of his life.


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    • In the beginning of Beethoven's life, as a child, he was raised by an abusive father named Johann van Beethoven. His father had little Beethoven learn the piano at a very young age, and physically criticized his work.

      This was due to Johann's alcoholic addiction. Soon enough, by the age of seven, Johann announced to the world who Beethoven was and the world recognized him as a prodigy of the age of six Johann lied, stating that Beethoven was the same age as when Mozart was discovered. However, not only was Beethoven recognized as a composer like Mozart, Beethoven was also recognized as a performer. As he became older, many tragic things occurred during his life, including the deaths of his parents when he was 18 and Soon, he became paranoid, and almost psychotic.

      After his brother, Caspar died, Caspar's son, Karl, was taken into custody by Beethoven. He considered his nephew his son, and believed this so strongly that he wouldn't let Karl see his mother. Beethoven was exhibited as an angry and unkind man, mainly due to these 'tragedies' he suffered through.

      Beethoven had never been in a relationship of any kind with a woman, and he had composed many letters to his "immortal beloved", which were heart rending. Later in his life he had also become deaf due to a form of tinnitus, causing his ears to ring to a point where he could no longer hear anything. Despite all of this, Beethoven still composed extraordinary music that would be known and enjoyed for two more centuries. Although I don't feel like a biography would be very successful with moving me, Morris did a very good job with the delivery and style of his writing.

      The way he writes seems very old fashion and at a high level, making you feel as though you are in the time of Beethoven's life. It is also quite clear that Morris is a musician, for he seems to be extremely knowledgeable about music. Although, I feel that for readers who know much less about music than Morris, this book may be a difficult read.

      There are many terms used that only musicians may know. For example, referring to a high level musician as a "count" may not be something that everyone knows. The author also used many German words, making it hard to understand exactly what is going on.

      Morris also had a very hard time with objecting any of Beethoven's works; for example, Morris points out that "Brahms has never gone down well in France" due to Beethoven's work. However, Beethoven's music was not played in France until after Beethoven's death, where even then, the music did not go well with some people.

      With that said, I believe that the author did a very good job reaching out to musicians interested in Beethoven, but did not do a very good job making the book friendly for other readers. On a scale of one to five, I have rated this book a three. Like I said, I believe that people who understand music very well along with those interested in learning about Beethoven are really the only people who will thoroughly understand this book, and therefore, that is who I recommend the book to.

      I believe that Morris is very concise in describing Beethoven's life struggles and music.