Ludwig van Beethoven: A Very Short Introduction [#705]
Ludwig van Beethoven: A Very Short Introduction [#705]

Ludwig van Beethoven: A Very Short Introduction [#705]

Mark Evan Bonds
  • Proposes a new way of listening to Beethoven that takes us beyond the iconic scowl and more nearly reflects the way in which the composer's contemporaries heard his music
  • Approaches Beethoven's music as a series of variations on his life as manifested through his ideals and his attitudes toward deafness, friendship, love, religion, money, and politics
  • Draws heavily on Beethoven's writings - his letters, his diary - and lets the composer's personality emerge through his own words
Proposes a new way of listening to Beethoven by understanding his music as an expression of his entire self, not just the iconic scowl
Despite the ups and downs of his personal life and professional career - even in the face of deafness - Beethoven remained remarkably consistent in his most basic convictions about his art. This inner consistency, writes the music historian Mark Evan Bonds, provides the key to understanding the composer's life and works. Beethoven approached music as he approached life, weighing whatever occupied him from a variety of perspectives: a melodic idea, a musical genre, a word or phrase, a friend, a lover, a patron, money, politics, religion. His ability to unlock so many possibilities from each helps explain the emotional breadth and richness of his output as a whole, from the heaven-storming Ninth Symphony to the eccentric Eighth, and from the arcane Great Fugue to the crowd-pleasing Wellington's Victory. Beethoven's works, Bonds argues, are a series of variations on his life. The iconic scowl so familiar from later images of the composer is but one of many attitudes he could assume and project through his music. The supposedly characteristic furrowed brow and frown, moreover, came only after his time. Discarding tired myths about the composer, Bonds proposes a new way of listening to Beethoven by hearing his music as an expression of his entire self, not just his scowling self.

 1. The Scowl
 2. The Life
 3. Ideals
 4. Deafness
 5. Love
 6. Money
 7. Politics
 8. Composing
 9. Early-Middle-Late
10. The Music
11. "Beethoven"
Further Reading

Mark Evan Bonds is the Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he has taught since 1992. A former editor-in-chief of Beethoven Forum, he has written widely on the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

"By altering the complex range of Beethoven's individuality through a series of cogently crafted perspectives, Mark Evan Bonds has created a captivating new account of Western music's most widely admired composer. This book will delight music lovers at all levels, for it can be read both as a stirring introduction and as a bracing reassessment." - Scott Burnham, Distinguished Professor of Music, Graduate Center, City University of New York

"In Ludwig van Beethoven: A Very Short Introduction, Mark Evan Bonds employs categories such as Love, Money, and Deafness to examine the legends and biographical distortions that have encumbered our understanding of Beethoven. In doing so, he enhances rather than diminishes our appreciation of the man and the music. Bonds wears his erudition lightly, giving us prose that is graceful, forceful, and always a pleasure." - Garrick Ohlssohn, pianist

"A genuinely new approach to Beethoven to satisfy the reader at any level of musical knowledge. The author's profound insights into the composer's art, life, and attitudes beyond 'the scowl' offer a multiplicity of surprising and rewarding perspectives on this musical superstar and his eventful era." - Elaine Sisman, Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music, Columbia University


ISBN : 9780190051730

Mark Evan Bonds
160 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Ludwig van Beethoven: A Very Short Introduction [#705]

Ludwig van Beethoven: A Very Short Introduction [#705]

Ludwig van Beethoven: A Very Short Introduction [#705]