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Beethoven Essays

Beethoven Essays

Maynard Solomon

ISBN 9780674063792

Publication date: 10/01/1990

Maynard Solomon is the author of a classic biography of Beethoven which has become a standard work throughout the world, having been translated into seven languages. In Beethoven Essays, he continues his exploration of Beethoven’s inner life, visionary outlook, and creativity, in a series of profound studies of this colossal figure of our civilization.

Solomon deftly fuses a variety of investigative approaches, from rigorous historical and ideological studies to imaginative musical and psychoanalytic speculations. Thus, after closely documenting Beethoven’s birth and illegitimacy fantasies, his “Family Romance,” and his pretense of nobility, Solomon offers extraordinary interpretations of the composer’s dreams, deafness, and obsessive relationship to his nephew. And, following his detailed uncovering of a complex network of recurrent patterns in the Ninth Symphony, he considers the narrative and mythic implications of Beethoven’s formal design.

Solomon examines the broad patterns of Beethoven’s creative evolution and processes of composition, the radical modernism of his music, and his intellectual, religious, and utopian strivings. A separate section on the “Immortal Beloved” includes the fullest biography of Antonia Brentano yet published. Closing the volume is Solomon’s translation and annotated edition of Beethoven’s Tagebuch, the moving, intimate diary that the composer kept during the critical period that culminated in his last style. Here, as throughout Beethoven Essays, Solomon offers scholarship that is at the cutting edge of Beethoven research.

Praise

  • Solomon’s most important achievement is to demonstrate with astonishing clarity the connection between psychological dramas of the life and the stylistic transformations of the music… Solomon’s vision of the life has all the energy and reflection of the music itself.

    —Edward Rothstein, New Republic

Author

  • In addition to his numerous writings on Beethoven, Maynard Solomon has written on Schubert, Mozart, and Ives. He works extensively in applied psychoanalysis and has also edited a standard work on Marxist aesthetics.

Book Details

  • 384 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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