Cover image for The life of Beethoven
The life of Beethoven
Wyn Jones, David.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xii, 204 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library ML410.B4 W87 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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'My compositions bring me in a good deal ... I state my price and they pay.' Beethoven was an inspired composer but he was also a working musician with sound commercial sense. David Wyn Jones's account of Beethoven the man and composer reveals the life of a creative musician in Bonn and Vienna in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. While paying due regard to the image of Beethoven as one of the most single-minded composers in the history of music, this biography places his work in the context of the musical life of the period. Through an understanding of the changing nature of musical patronage, the private and public concert, the impact of the Napoleonic Wars on culture and society, and the increasing ambition of musical life in the period after the end of the wars, a varied and dynamic picture of Beethoven's musical career emerges.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The intention of this volume in the "Musical Lives" series is to provide a fresh look at Beethoven by integrating his life and works into a seamless whole. Since so many have already written about Beethoven, the challenge to discover anything new is enormous, especially in the context of a general view of life and works. And in fact the task proves insurmountable. Even though Wyn Jones (Univ. of Wales) focuses on Beethoven more clearly by using only primary sources, his approach nets little that is new: much of the material can be found in more comprehensive works such as The Beethoven Compendium, by Barry Cooper et al. (CH, Jan'92). Beethoven's works receive only passing attention. Wyn Jones does shed light on certain aspects of cultural environment. For example, by looking at the number of performances of Beethoven's works in the last period of his life, one realizes that Beethoven was not ignored by the Viennese public, as many believe. Most suitable for general readers and lower-division undergraduates. M. N.-H. Cheng; Colgate University

Table of Contents

1 The young courtier
2 A new career in Vienna
3 Cursing his creator and his existence
4 Drama and symphony
5 Patrons and patriotism
6 Empires of the mind
7 Towards a public comeback
8 Facing death

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