e. "The Public Beethoven" and "The Private Beethoven.") Rather than integrating both facets of Beethoven the person and Beethoven the artist, as Jones does in his biography, Geck wishes to show us the two different sides of Beethoven through a sort of dichotomous split. The result makes for a rather dense, at times tedious read. Jones's skillful integration of the two facets of Beethoven's life seems to flow on a much more natural narrative level.
One of the characteristics that distinguish each of the biographies is their brevity. Unlike more definitive biographical studies, which tend to number into the late hundreds or even thousands in page count, both Jones and Geck manage to condense Beethoven's life to less than two hundred pages. This brevity has both its benefits and its limitations. On the one hand, the general reader, who perhaps has an appreciation of Beethoven's music that has spurred their interest in exploring the man behind the sounds, will appreciate a general introduction to that man's life and times. But for those specialists who have devoted months or even years to studying Beethoven's music and life, such short biographies may seem rather trite, under researched, or even vague.
Still, one of the benefits of short, condensed works of biography such as these is the fact that they provide us with a general overview of the composer, without boring us with too much detail on any one particular facet of the composer's life. They provide a clear structure that highlights the most important events in the composer's life, such as the dates of composition and the first performance of the most important works. In the event that we are unsatisfied and need to know more information about a particular event, then at least we have been provided with a context through which we may track down other studies.
For this reason, it is important to note that, while both authors provide bibliographical details for further reading,...
What is more, Geck's bibliography is actually annotated and consists almost completely of other biographies. By reading Geck's annotations, we can discover which biographies are best in terms of content, but also which ones may focus on particular details of Beethoven's life and work that we may want to pursue in our individual research.
I think that both of these studies of Beethoven are commendable as biographies. However, if I had to recommend just one to my classmates, I would have to recommend the Jones biography. It provides a more objective account of Beethoven's life, including plenty of primary sources, as well as musical examples scattered throughout the text to give those with some knowledge of music a better idea of Beethoven's vast achievements.
While Geck's biography is interesting, it is also dull in places, due to the structural problems described above. And since both biographies are so brief, when read side by side, a lot of the ideas and information conveyed are redundant. For this reason, I recommend reading the Jones biography. If you were still interested in reading more about Beethoven's life, then it would be useful to read a longer, more detailed biography, or even a first-hand source, such as a collection of Beethoven's letters.
At the end of reading the biographies of both Geck and Jones, we are left with an impression of Beethoven that often confirms the stereotype of the Romantic genius at odds with his era. but, as both biographers point out, this is a notion that Beethoven played a major role in fostering. As an emblematic figure of Romanticism, Beethoven not only composed some of the most important music of all time; he also gave rise to common beliefs about the myth of artistic genius. Ultimately, it may be impossible for a truly "objective" account of Beethoven's life to ever emerge, owing to the fact that mythology and reality are inextricable when considering the legacy of this great man - and the music that continues to live on, all these years later.
Geck, Martin. Beethoven. London: Haus Publishing, 2003.
Jones, David Wyn. The Life of…
...a symphony which could present its creator's image of the world," a concept which "lay at the heart of the Romantic revolution" and through which Beethoven "first brought Romanticism into Western music ("Ludwig Van Beethoven," Internet). Of course, it is Beethoven's momentous and magnificent Symphony no. 9, the Choral, which continues to thrill music lovers all over the world. This incredible piece of music stirs up a galaxy of human emotions,
7). It is the only symphony out of the nine for which Beethoven chose the key of a. In form, the symphony is not strikingly different from his previous six symphonies but the way in which the power and the beauty of thoughts have been treated gives it a unique "romantic" air. In the Finale, this 'romance' develops into "a vein of boisterous mirth" that had not been seen
The originality that this enabled -- or rather the complete state of non-hindrance that this created for the originality that existed in Beethoven already -- is the other major source for Beethoven's influence. That is, the innovation that Beethoven created all but necessitated the composer's inordinate influence on the trajectory of Western music; his sound was at once rooted in the technicalities and tones of the last generation of masters,
Beethoven's style disturbed him, causing Beethoven to seek instruction elsewhere, including that of Mozart's rival Antonio Saleri ("Ludwig van Beethoven," the Columbia Encyclopedia, 2008). For awhile he lived in the aristocrat Prince Lichnowsky's mansion and began to secure fame as a 'dueling' piano player and composer. "Beethoven's rivals always retired, bloodied, from such combat. While he made enemies of many pianists in Vienna, the nobility flocked to hear him....
Beethoven: Greatest Hits CD is relatively self-explanatory. It is a compilation of many of the works that Beethoven created during his life and showcases the works that seem to be the most often heard or the most often discussed by music lovers and critics alike. The CD has only the works of Beethoven and does not contain a compilation of artists like many other classical music CDs, where there are
This is what connects Americans with Iraqis more fundamentally -- a common humanity, not abstract desires to change the government. Discussion 2: Beethoven This passage prompts the question -- why do we tend to classify Beethoven as a Romantic artist and David as Neoclassical? After all, both artists combined Romantic and Neoclassical elements in their composition. Perhaps the answer is that when we listen to a composition by Beethoven, we feel