Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Recent Beethoven Publications and Related Books 2012-2013

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Recent Beethoven Publications and Related Books 2012-2013

Article excerpt

The following summaries of books recently acquired by the Beethoven Center are intended to aid readers in selecting new publications that appeal to their individual interests. Part I, "All About Beethoven," includes fiction in English as well as Englishand German-language music criticism, facsimile and exhibition publications, and biographical studies that will be of interest to both general readers and specialists. Part II, "Other Books for General Readers and Specialists," describes a few books on creativity, history, philosophy, and music instruction that include substantive discussions of Beethoven.

Part I. All About Beethoven

A. Books in English

FICTION

Carter, M. Scott. The Immortal Von B.: A Novel. Oklahoma City, OK: The RoadRunner Press, 2012. 31 2 pp. 978-1-937054-30-4 (hardcover): $18.95. www.theroadrunnerpress.com

Josie Brunswick (full name Josephine) is a teenaged guitarist unhappily forced to leave Oklahoma when her father moves to Vienna for an important job at a secretive genetics research lab. Soon afterwards, she loses her mother, a concert pianist with a special affinity for Beethoven's music. Josie s admiration for the dead composer grows as she meets others linked to his past, including a modern-day Countess Waldstein and Theresa Malfatti, director of the Haus der Musik museum. Sympathizing with the grieving girl, Theresa allows Josie to handle artifacts at the museum, including a scarf once belonging to Beethoven. Josie then tampers with the tissue replicator in her fathers lab, unintentionally creating a teenage Beethoven, cloned from a hair transferred from the scarf. Although the clone retains Beethovens memories, he is not an exact copy. The new Beethoven can hear, and he and Josie fall in love as she introduces him to her favorite popular music, the joys of modern plumbing, pizza, and Coke. But when Dr. Brunswick discovers that an evil corporation was supporting his genetic research for sinister purposes, the new Beethoven and his new Immortal Beloved must run for their lives. In works of fiction, we can expect some adjustments in the facts about Beethoven's former life, but the author offers only a hint of why everyone (including the Beethoven clone) insists on using "von" rather than "van" in his name in a famous quote at the beginning where Beethoven elevates himself above the noble classes ("What you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I created myself. There are, and will be, a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven"). In 2013 the book won the Oklahoma Book and Independent Publishers Book award for young adult fiction.

Flyte, Magnus. City of Dark Magic: A Novel. New York: Penguin Books, 201 3. 448 pp. ISBN 978-0-14-312268-5 (paperback): $16; 978-1-10-160306-2 (ebook): $9.99. www.us.penguingroup. com

Magnus Flyte is a pseudonym for the partnership of fellow Californians Meg Howrey, a former dancer and published novelist, and television writer Christina Lynch. The magical city of the title is Prague, and most of the action takes place in the Lobkowitz Palace. American musicology student Sarah Weston takes a summer job cataloging Beethoven manuscripts still owned by the current Lobkowitz family, joining a team of young scholars preparing the valuable arc objects and other rarities in the family's vast private collection for the opening of a new museum in the palace. Sarah becomes entangled in intertwined mysteries involving the strange Prince Max and his dwarf sidekick, a murderous cousin, and a corrupt U.S. senator. At the center of the mystery are two sets of secret letters: one uncovers the senator's traitorous past, the other reveals the true identity of Beethoven's Immortal Beloved (a very imaginative solution). Sarah teams up with the prince in pursuit of an ancient drug that allows them to view past lives. She jumps back in time to chase clues, glimpsing Beethoven several times and finally lingering in his company long enough to hear him play the fortepiano. …

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