Beethoven's symphonies : an artistic vision

by Lockwood, Lewis,

Format: Print Book 2015
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 3 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Music - Open Stacks ML410.B42 L62 2015
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Music - Open Stacks
Call Number  ML410.B42 L62 2015
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 784.2 Loc
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  784.2 Loc
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Northland Public Library Nonfiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction

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.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "As the author of Beethoven: The Music and the Life, a 2003 Pulitzer Prize finalist, freely admits, A new book on the Beethoven symphonies calls for justification. Lockwood does so by citing detailed sketchbooks only 20 percent of which have apparently been transcribed in which the composer documented the early stages of virtually every piece he wrote. Lockwood uses those sketchbooks to glean insights into all nine of Beethoven's symphonies, but also adds valuable context, such as the reception each piece received from contemporary audiences and critics, sources of inspiration for the composer, other compositions Beethoven was writing at the time, and the ways Beethoven was transforming European music and culture with each new symphony. Lockwood's analysis of the music could be challenging for general readers, but, still, this is recommended where the author's Beethoven has found an audience.--Moores, Alan Copyright 2015 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this captivating study of Beethoven's nine symphonies, Beethoven expert Lockwood wonderfully recreates the cultural and historical background of each work, the challenges the composer faced while writing it, and its enduring artistic qualities. Lockwood illustrates elegantly that Beethoven's preoccupation with the symphonic form grew out of his restless longing to achieve originality and his desire to experiment with various musical forms. With close attention to detail, Lockwood examines sketches and the process of composition. The second symphony, for example, written between 1800 and 1802, shows the increasing influence that French music had on Beethoven, as well as his engagement with the ideas of heroism and the ideals of the French Revolution. The eighth symphony, written in 1812, "reflects a wide range of stylistic directions," expressing his "sense of freedom and widening artistic space." With his now most familiar tune, the "Ode to Joy" from the ninth symphony, Beethoven sought to compose an easy-to-sing melody whose simplicity and power made it memorable. Lockwood's engaging study offers an excellent introduction and listening guide to Beethoven's symphonies. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."

Additional Information
Subjects Beethoven, Ludwig van, -- 1770-1827. -- Symphonies.
Symphony -- 19th century.
Publisher New York :W. W. Norton & Company,2015
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description xvi, 285 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-271) and indexes.
ISBN 9780393076448
Other Classic View