Author Topic: Swafford's Beethoven Bio  (Read 303 times)

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Offline Oldnslow

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Swafford's Beethoven Bio
« on: October 07, 2017, 09:45:14 AM »
Just finished Jan Swafford's mammoth and wonderful biography of Beethoven. Certainly the best musical biography I have read. Next up-- -Swafford's Brahms

Offline Artem

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Re: Swafford's Beethoven Bio
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 05:49:41 AM »
I am still reading it. Finished about half of it. I am finding it less enjoyable than his bios of Brahms and Ives though.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Swafford's Beethoven Bio
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 06:43:50 AM »
I haven't read it like a story book, from the start through to the end, but I have it and I use it sometimes like a reference book, with not totally satisfying results. I'll give a couple of examples, I was interested in op 106 and, if you look at Swafford's chapter about it, some of his interpretation turns on a comment that Beethoven made in a letter to his publisher that "what is difficult is good." But a friend of mine showed me the letter and it seems to me that Beethoven was probably making a joke. That's wasn't clear to me from Swafford's comments, who makes it sound like one of his rules of life.

I also looked to see what he had to say about op 110 this week -- nothing interesting there though, that I could find.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 06:45:22 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

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