The Universal ComposerBook - 2005
A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and classical pianist presents a detailed portrait of the genius composer, tracing his rise from a child prodigy to one of Europe's most celebrated musical artists, and describing his fierce ambitions and early death. 50,000 first printing.
“Brilliant....This book is a perfect marriage—or should one say, duet—of subject and author, every word as masterly as the notes of the artist it illuminates.” — Christopher Buckley, Forbes
“This is not just criticism but poetry in itself, with the additional—and inestimable—merit of being true.” — Washington Post Book World
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, Dutch) is one of America’s most distinguished biographers, known for his rich, compulsively readable prose style. His biography of Beethoven, one of the most admired composers in the history of music, is above all a study of genius in action, of one of the few giants of Western culture. Beethoven is another engaging entry in the HarperCollins’ “Eminent Lives” series of biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and classical pianist presents a detailed portrait of the genius composer, tracing his rise from a child prodigy to one of Europe's most celebrated musical artists, and describing his fierce ambitions and early death.
Beethoven was a genius so universal that his popularity, extraordinary even during his lifetime, has never ceased to grow. It now encircles the globe: Beethoven's most famous works are as beloved in Beijing as they are in Boston. Biographer Morris brings the composer to life as a man of astonishing complexity and overpowering intelligence. A gigantic, compulsively creative personality unable to tolerate constraints, he was not so much a social rebel as an astute manipulator of powerful and privileged aristocrats, at a time when their world was threatened by the rise of Napoleon. Struggling against progressive, incurable deafness (which he desperately tried to keep secret), he nonetheless produced towering masterpieces. Morris illuminates Beethoven's life, including his interactions with the women he privately lusted for but held at bay, and his work, whose grandeur and beauty were conceived "on the other side of silence."--From publisher description.