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Beethoven: The Relentless Revolutionary

John Clubbe



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05 September 2019
Music; Individual composers & musicians, bands & groups
Beethoven imbibed Enlightenment and revolutionary ideas in Bonn where they were fervently discussed in cafes and at the university. At the age of twenty-one, he moved to Vienna to study with Haydn, gaining renown as a master pianist and innovative composer. In the capital of the Hapsburg Empire, authorities were watchful to curtail and punish displays of radical political views. Nevertheless, Beethoven avidly followed the rise of Napoleon and his republican reforms. As Napoleon had liberated Europe from aristocratic oppression, Beethoven desired to liberate music and mankind itself.

Through Beethoven's letters, portraits and other personal papers, and by setting him alongside the major artists of the time, John Clubbe illuminates Beethoven's role as a lifelong revolutionary.

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By:   John Clubbe
Imprint:   Norton
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 165mm,  Spine: 43mm
Weight:   934g
ISBN:   9780393242553
ISBN 10:   0393242552
Pages:   512
Publication Date:   05 September 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

John Clubbe, who holds three degrees from Columbia University, taught chiefly at Duke and the University of Kentucky. He has written books on nineteenth-century cultural history and numerous essays, primarily on Byron, Beethoven, and Napoleon. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he now lives, he has given pre-concert lectures for the Santa Fe Pro Musica and the Santa Fe Symphony.

Reviews for Beethoven: The Relentless Revolutionary

In astonishing detail and breadth, Clubbe has--after a lifetime of study devoted to Beethoven and Napoleon--created a political biography of the composer that is unique and compelling. It has the potential to reshape our image of Beethoven as it reframes his works within the context of the revolutions and revolutionary figures the composer knew from his earliest days in Bonn. While focusing on the composer's fascination with Napoleon, Clubbe vividly brings the entire era to life, weaving reformers, revolutionary ideals and literature, censorship and repression, and the ultimate failure of the grand revolutionary experiments into one rich fabric.--Dr. William Meredith, emeritus director of the Beethoven Center, San Jose State University Using historical, artistic, and literary sources in new ways, John Clubbe illuminates Beethoven's political identity, particularly his attitude toward Napoleon. This vivid and passionate book will help anyone who cares about Beethoven's music to understand the beliefs he had to hide from the Austrian authorities.--Peter Pesic, author of Polyphonic Minds, and director of the Science Institute and musician-in-residence at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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