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ISBN 0825671639 / 9780825671630 / 0-8256-7163-9
Publisher Schirmer Trade Books
› Find signed collectible books: 'Beethoven'
Maynard Solomon is that rarest of writers on classical music: a well-trained expert who is also gutsy and humane, and who knows about life. He had the courage to write in recent years about Franz Schubert's homosexuality, which, judging by the size of the polemic that ensued, some academics were still not ready to hear about. But for many readers, Solomon's masterpiece is still his 1977 biography of Beethoven, offered here in a revised second edition that is a must-read for anyone interested in classical music, let alone "The Big Deaf One," as Jean Cocteau referred to the composer. Artfully blending history, psychology, sociology, and musicology in just the right measures, Solomon has taken the opportunity in his revision to focus more on certain themes, like Beethoven and Freemasonry; to discount evidence now seen as suspect, including the forgeries of the composer's friend Schindler; and to present new finds such as recently discovered documentary evidence. The result stands with Thayer's biography and Tovey's analyses as the classics on Beethoven, along with other fascinating books like the Cambridge Music Handbook on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. A triumph--bravo, Professor Solomon! --Benjamin Ivry [via]