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More than any other composer, Beethoven left to posterity a vast body of material that documents the early stages of almost everything he wrote. From this trove of sketchbooks, Lewis Lockwood draws us into the composer's mind, unveiling a creative process of astonishing scope and originality. For musicians and nonmusicians alike, Beethoven's symphonies stand at the summit of artistic achievement, loved today as they were two hundred years ago for their emotional cogency, variety, and unprecedented individuality. Beethoven labored to complete nine of them over his lifetime--a quarter of Mozart's output and a tenth of Haydn's--yet no musical works are more iconic, more indelibly stamped on the memory of anyone who has heard them. They are the products of an imagination that drove the composer to build out of the highest musical traditions of the past something startlingly new. Lockwood brings to bear a long career of studying the surviving sources that yield insight into Beethoven's creative work, including concept sketches for symphonies that were never finished. From these, Lockwood offers fascinating revelations into the historical and biographical circumstances in which the symphonies were composed. In this compelling story of Beethoven's singular ambition, Lockwood introduces readers to the symphonies as individual artworks, broadly tracing their genesis against the backdrop of political upheavals, concert life, and their relationship to his major works in other genres. From the first symphonies, written during his emerging deafness, to the monumental Ninth, Lockwood brings to life Beethoven's lifelong passion to compose works of unsurpassed beauty [Publisher description]
The Beethoven symphonies form the core of the classicalconcert repertoire and remain among the defining worksof the Western musical experience. As the heir to Haydn andMozart, Beethoven possessed an abiding artistic vision thatfound its most powerful expression in the symphonic form,which he revolutionized and bequeathed to posterity. LewisLockwood?s compelling story introduces each symphony as anindividual artwork and broadly traces the creative backgroundof each, set against the contemporary political upheavals, thegrowth of concert life, and the relationship to major works ofhis in other genres. In concise chapters, Lockwood uncoversa creative process of remarkable scope and originality, includingreference to numerous symphonic ideas sketched outbut not realized. From the first symphonies, written duringBeethoven?s emerging deafness, to the monumental Ninth,his lifelong passion to compose works of transcendent aestheticand moral value are brought vividly to life.
Number of Pages: 285
Genre: Music, Biography + Autobiography
Sub-Genre: Composers + Musicians
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
Author: Lewis Lockwood
Street Date: October 26, 2015
Item Number (DPCI): 247-48-7911
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