Paperback is £12.89 !!! - Beethoven’s life from the inside, as a creative artist.
Susan Lund has been a Beethoven researcher for 40 years. Her previous books on Beethoven include RAPTUS, a novel with introductory articles; BEETHOVEN & THE CATHOLIC BRENTANOS; and PASSION. PASSION stage-play was presented at Kings Place, London, on July 7th, 2012, to mark the 200th anniversary of Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved letter.
Leading scholars have called her work humane, insightful, strong and beautifully written. Classical Music said RAPTUS ‘Gets under the skin of Beethoven,’ Philip Weiss in the New York Times called it the ‘flesh and blood Beethoven.’
In her new book, Beethoven:Life of an Artist, Lund, a veteran Beethoven expert and novelist, has put together what she regards as conclusive musical arguments to show - as she has claimed since the late 1980s - that it was sorrow over separation from his only child that inspired late masterpieces such as his renowned choral setting of the mass and the Hammerklavier sonata, Opus 106.
"It seems clear he loved a woman called Antonie Brentano, an aristocrat who had been married to a man she did not love at the age of 17. I am convinced her son Karl Josef was Beethoven's child."
The boy, born in 1813 and never seen by the composer, became ill aged four with a condition that limited his movements and mental capacity. It was news of this devastating illness, Lund argues, that caused a notoriously unexplained barren period in Beethoven's creative life in 1817.
"I claim that Beethoven wrote the Missa Solemnis for Karl Josef." In a huge effort of empathy with the Catholic Brentano he wrote the work he called "his greatest" as solace for a mother with a son who, as she thought, was unable to secure his path to heaven. "This is what the woman he loved believed."
Observer critic Fiona Maddocks says solving such a personal riddle is only relevant if it affects our understanding of the work: "It might be of interest, in human terms, to find that Beethoven had a son, but musically any such discovery is only of substance if we can prove it made a difference to the notes he wrote." According to Lund, that is exactly what she has done.
Vanessa Thorpe, Observer, Sunday 26 February 2017.
Format: Kindle Edition
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Print Length: 410 pages
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