Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Was the Romantic Beethoven Really a “Radical Evolutionary”?
Of all the standard myths and accepted truths of the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven, the idea of the “Romantic” Beethoven—the embodiment of Germanic sturm und drang and 19th century revolution—clings the most. In a massive new biography, Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph, Jan Swafford hopes to tear away that and many more myths to rediscover the real man and artist buried beneath. “Beethoven was not a Romantic, and he never called himself a revolutionary,” Swafford asserts. “He based much of what he did on tradition, models, and authorities, and he never intended to overthrow the past. He was an evolutionist more than a revolutionist. Call him a radical
one with a unique voice.” Using his own unique voice as biographer of
great composers, Swafford traces the life and art of Beethoven in
eye-opening, rational detail and gives you a more human, more
fascinating portrait of Beethoven the radical evolutionary than even the
Beethoven the Romantic of legend. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Was the Romantic Beethoven Really a “Radical Evolutionary”?"