Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life
Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life
Publisher's Hardcover23.25
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Annotation: “Padel’s imagery and imagination took me deeper into Beethoven than many biographies I’ve read.” —Anthony Tommasini, The... more
Genre: [Poetry]
Catalog Number: #258652
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 131 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-593-31772-6
ISBN 13: 978-0-593-31772-3
Dewey: 821
LCCN: 2020012437
Dimensions: 22 cm
Language: English
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Library Journal
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 9+

“Padel’s imagery and imagination took me deeper into Beethoven than many biographies I’ve read.” —Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

A fascinating poetic journey into the mind and heart of a musical genius, from the author of the celebrated Darwin: A Life in Poems

Ruth Padel's new sequence of poems, in four movements, is a personal voyage through the life and legend of one of the world's greatest composers. She uncovers the man behind the music, charting his private thoughts and feelings through letters, diaries, sketchbooks, and the conversation books he used as his hearing declined. She gives us Beethoven as a battered four-year-old, weeping at the clavier; the young virtuoso pianist agonized by his encroaching deafness; the passionate, heartbroken lover; the clumsy eccentric making coffee with exactly sixty beans. Padel's quest takes her into the heart of Europe and back to her own musical childhood: Her great-grandfather, who studied in Leipzig with a pupil of Beethoven's, became a concert pianist before migrating to Britain; her parents met making music; and Padel grew up playing the viola, Beethoven's instrument as a child. Her book is a poet and string player's intimate connection across the centuries with an artist who, though increasingly isolated, ended even his most harrowing works on a note of hope.

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