Recent Beethoven Publications 2009-2010 (and Related Books 2008-2010)

Article excerpt

THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTIONS OF BOOKS, SCORES, AND MANUSCRIPT FACSIMILES RECENTLY ACQUIRED BYTHE BEETHOVEN CENTER are intended to aid readers in selecting new publications that appeal to their individual interests. Part I, "All (or Mosdy) About Beethoven," includes biographies, criticism, and fiction in several languages that will be of interest to both general readers and specialists. Part ?, "Other Books for the General Reader" encompasses books on pianos, musicians, and interdisciplinary and nineteenth-century studies in both English and German.

I. All (or Mostly) About Beethoven

Biographies

Coeyers, Jan, Beethoven, een Biografìe [Beethoven, o Biography]. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2010. Ó72 pp. ISBN 978-90-234-29067 (hardback): euro45 ($66). In Dutch. www.debezigebij.nl

The author of this new Dutch biography is a Belgian conductor who founded the Beethoven Académie in 1993, a small chamber orchestra that disbanded in 2006 after losing funding (and was famously offered for sale on eBay for a brief time to call attention to its plight). Caeyers later established an international Beethoven festival in Mechelen, the home of Beethoven's grandfather. His biography of Beethoven follows a chronological path, dividing Beethoven's life into five long chapters: the artist as a young man (1770-92); the time of fermentation (17921802); the ruler (1802-09); mass and power (1809-16); and the lonely road (1816-27). Included in the volume are several black-and-white illustrations, detailed footnotes and bibliography, and indexes of works and names.

Fauconnier, Bernard. Beethoven, folio Biographies. Paris: Editions Gallimard, 2010. 284 pp. ISBN 978-2-07-033821-4 ipaperback): euro6.20 ($9). In French, www.gallimard.fr

The author of this new French biography is mosdy known as a novelist. His first book, L'être et le géant (1989), recounts an imaginary meeting between Sartre and Charles de Gaulle. In addition to writing novels, he contributes essays to the Magazine littéraire. For his abbreviated sbiography of Beethoven, Fauconnier organizes each of the short chapters around a theme from Beethoven's Ufe (e.g. "days of war," "the Fidelio series, and "a mass for humanity") and frequently includes excerpts from Beethoven's letters and other sources. The book also contains a few color illustrations, a brief chronology, bibliography and discography, and index.

Korff, Malte. Ludwig van Beethoven. Suhrkamp BasisBiographie. Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2010. 157 pp. ISBN 978-3-518-18246-8 (paperback): euro8.90 ($13). In German, www.suhrkamp.de

This German pocket biography could serve as a handy reference book. It divides the text equally between life and works and prints captions in the margins to point to events and works discussed on that page. Quotations from source materials are offset and highlighted throughout the book. Additional brief chapters include an overview of Beethoven reception from his time to the present (including a succinct summary of controversial uses of the Ninth Symphony), and Beethoven in film, fiction, and recordings. The book is also enhanced with numerous blackand-white illustrations of portraits and documents. Includes chronology, bibliography, and indexes.

Tubeuf, André. Ludwig van Beethoven. Classica. Arles: Actes Sud, 2009. 219 pp. ISBN 978-2-7427-809a7 (paperback): euro22.50 ($29). In French, www.actes-sud.fr

Tubeuf is a well known French critic who has written several books on music including volumes on Mozart and Richard Strauss for the Classica series) and is frequent contributor to Opéra international, L'Avant-Scène Opéra, Harmonie, Diapason, and ocher journals. This long philosophical essay on Beethoven's life and works received mixed reviews in the press but was awarded a prize from the Académie Française in 2009. Includes indexes of names and work.

Friends and Associates

Kopitz, Klaus Martin, Beethoven, Elisabeth Röckel und das Alhumblatt "Für Elise" [Beethoven, Elisabeth Röckel and the Album Leaf "For Elise"]. …