Beethoven's Hair

Author: Russell Martin

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0767910818

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 1590


The basis for the movie of the same name, an astonishing tale of one lock of hair and its amazing travels--from nineteenth-century Vienna to twenty-first-century America. When Ludwig van Beethoven lay dying in 1827, a young musician named Ferdinand Hiller came to pay his respects to the great composer, snipping a lock of Beethoven's hair as a keepsake--as was custom at the time--in the process. For a century, the lock of hair was a treasured Hiller family relic, until it somehow found its way to the town of Gilleleje, in Nazi-occupied Denmark. There, it was given to a local doctor, Kay Fremming, who was deeply involved in the effort to help save hundreds of hunted and frightened Jews. After Fremming's death, his daughter assumed ownership of the lock, and eventually consigned it for sale at Sotheby's, where two American Beethoven enthusiasts, Ira Brilliant and Che Guevara, purchased it in 1994. Subsequently, they and others instituted a series of complex forensic tests in the hope of finding the probable causes of the composer's chronically bad health, his deafness, and the final demise that Ferdinand Hiller had witnessed all those years ago. The results, revealed for the first time here, are the most compelling explanation yet offered for why one of the foremost musicians the world has ever known was forced to spend much of his life in silence. In Beethoven's Hair, Russell Martin has created a rich historical treasure hunt, a tale of false leads, amazing breakthroughs, and incredible revelations. This unique and fascinating book is a moving testament to the power of music, the lure of relics, the heroism of the Resistance movement, and the brilliance of molecular science.

The Mysteries of Beethoven's Hair

Author: Russell Martin Lydia Nibley

Publisher: Charlesbridge

ISBN: 1607341352

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 128

View: 6101


Introduces the life of the Austrian composer, along with the story of a lock of his hair cut by a barber after his death, which was kept by various owners and the analysis of which revealed the high level of lead present in the composer's body.

Beethoven and His World

Author: Scott Burnham,Michael P. Steinberg

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691218323

Category: Music

Page: 350

View: 7561


Few composers even begin to approach Beethoven's pervasive presence in modern Western culture, from the concert hall to the comic strip. Edited by a cultural historian and a music theorist, Beethoven and His World gathers eminent scholars from several disciplines who collectively speak to the range of Beethoven's importance and of our perennial fascination with him. The contributors address Beethoven's musical works and their cultural contexts. Reinhold Brinkmann explores the post-revolutionary context of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony, while Lewis Lockwood establishes a typology of heroism in works like Fidelio. Elaine Sisman, Nicholas Marston, and Glenn Stanley discuss issues of temporality, memory, and voice in works at the threshold of Beethoven's late style, such as An die Ferne Geliebte, the Cello Sonata op. 102, no. 1, and the somewhat later Piano Sonata op. 109. Peering behind the scenes into Beethoven's workshop, Tilman Skowroneck explains how the young Beethoven chose his pianos, and William Kinderman shows Beethoven in the process of sketching and revising his compositions. The volume concludes with four essays engaging the broader question of reception of Beethoven's impact on his world and ours. Christopher Gibbs' study of Beethoven's funeral and its aftermath features documentary material appearing in English for the first time; art historian Alessandra Comini offers an illustrated discussion of Beethoven's ubiquitous and iconic frown; Sanna Pederson takes up the theme of masculinity in critical representations of Beethoven; and Leon Botstein examines the aesthetics and politics of hearing extramusical narratives and plots in Beethoven's music. Bringing together varied and fresh approaches to the West's most celebrated composer, this collection of essays provides music lovers with an enriched understanding of Beethoven--as man, musician, and phenomenon.

Beethoven and the Grosse Fuge

Author: Robert S. Kahn

Publisher: Scarecrow Press

ISBN: 1461664055

Category: Music

Page: 180

View: 2770


This book looks closely at both Beethoven and the Grosse Fuge, placing both in their historical and social contexts. It considers interesting questions about whether absolute music—music without words—can have meaning and speculates that some works of Western music can evoke synesthesia in listeners—a sense of motion through three-dimensional volumes of space. The author also speculates that Beethoven's long creative dry spell in his late 40s was caused by an extended bout with clinical depression.

The Mysteries of Beethoven's Hair

Author: Russell Martin,Lydia Nibley

Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing

ISBN: 1570917159

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 128

View: 6660


At the time of Ludwig van Beethoven’s death, it was a common practice to take a lock of hair from the deceased as a remembrance, a sacred remnant of the person who meant so much when alive. One such lock of Beethoven’s hair survived through the years and eventually became the joint property of two men who, in 1995, opened the sealed frame that encased the hair and began the process of unlocking the mysteries of Beethoven’s life, death, and possibly his genius. Follow the trail of Beethoven’s hair as it was passed on from the boy who cut it to his son and down through the years, as it was safeguarded from Nazi Germany and eventually sold at auction in 1994. Through careful forensic testing, the hairs in the lock revealed the causes of Beethoven’s deafness and his many illnesses. This fascinating story is not only a study of the secrets that forensics can reveal, but a moving history of many people’s devotion to Beethoven’s music. Husband and wife team Russell Martin and Lydia Nibley follow the success of Martin’s adult book, Beethoven’s Hair, with this retelling for younger readers.

Beethoven and His World

Author: H. P. Clive,Professor of French Peter Clive

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780198166726

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 554

View: 9746


Following the author's acclaimed biographical dictionaries on Schubert and Mozart, 'Beethoven and His World' offers an extremely comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the composer's relations with a multitude of persons with whom he associated on a personal or professional basis: relatives,friends, acquaintances, librettists, poets, publishers, artists, patrons, and musicians. With more than 450 entries, the dictionary is the result of a wide-ranging examination of primary and secondary sources, and critically assesses the use which scholars have made of the considerabledocumentation now available. In particular, there are numerous references to Beethoven's correspondence and conversation books, which have recently been published in excellent new editions. The book places the composer and his music in a fuller context and a wider perspective than might bepossible in a traditional biography; it will appeal to all music lovers, both the scholar and the non-specilaist alike.

The Forensic Historian

Author: Robert C Williams

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317456807

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 769


Modern forensic science has significantly affected historical debate over some well-known past crimes or mysteries, utilizing modern DNA, nuclear, and chemical analyses to reexamine the past. This book takes an in-depth look at 20 significant cases where investigators have applied new forensic techniques to confirm, dispute, or revise accepted historical accounts. Among the cases included are the murder of King Tut, the validity of the Vinland Map, the authenticity of the Hitler diaries, Joan of Arc's ashes, the bones of Anastasia, arsenic and the death of Napoleon, and the dating of the Shroud of Turin, plus 13 more.

The Changing Image of Beethoven

Author: Alessandra Comini

Publisher: Sunstone Press

ISBN: 0865346615

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 480

View: 621


In this unique study of the myth-making process across two centuries, Comini examines the contradictory imagery of Beethoven in contemporary verbal accounts, and in some 200 paintings, prints, sculptures, and monuments.

Beethoven and Greco-Roman Antiquity

Author: Jos van der Zanden

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1000442772

Category: Music

Page: 288

View: 5498


Ludwig van Beethoven had a life beyond music. He considered it his duty to spend leisure-time improving his Bildung (sophistication). To this end he familiarised himself with tangible manifestations of Greco-Roman antiquity, for he perceived these cultures and their representatives as examples of intellectual, moral, and artistic perfection. He consumed such writers as Homer, Plutarch, Horace, Tacitus, Euripides, and Greek poets. These texts were morally uplifting for him, and advantageous for building character. They now hold a key to Beethoven’s ideal of a steadfast, austere, and Stoic outlook, necessary for a ‘great man’ to carry out his duties. Jos van der Zanden demonstrates that Beethoven’s engagement with Greco-Roman culture was deep and ongoing, and that it ventured beyond the non-committal. Drawing on a comprehensive investigation of primary sources (letters, conversation books, diaries, recollections of contemporaries) he examines what Beethoven knew of such topics like history, art, politics, and philosophy of antiquity. The book presents new information on the composer’s republicanism, his familiarity with the works of Plato, his admiration of the elderly Brutus, his plan to utilize ‘unresolved dissonances’ in an unknown piece of music, and his decision to subscribe to a book about ancient Greek poetry. A hitherto unknown vocal piece based on lines by Euripides is revealed. The study concludes with a comprehensive survey of all compositions and sketches by Beethoven based on Greco-Roman subjects.

Beethoven: The Music and the Life

Author: Lewis Lockwood

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393347559

Category: Music

Page: 624

View: 2072


An authoritative work offering a fresh look at Beethoven’s life, career, and milieu. “Magisterial” —New York Review of Books. This brilliant portrayal weaves Beethoven's musical and biographical stories into their historical and artistic contexts. Lewis Lockwood sketches the turbulent personal, historical, political, and cultural frameworks in which Beethoven worked and examines their effects on his music. "The result is that rarest of achievements, a profoundly humane work of scholarship that will—or at least should—appeal to specialists and generalists in equal measure" (Terry Teachout, Commentary). Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. "Lewis Lockwood has written a biography of Beethoven in which the hours that Beethoven spent writing music—that is, his methods of working, his interest in contemporary and past composers, the development of his musical intentions and ideals, his inner musical life, in short—have been properly integrated with the external events of his career. The book is invaluable." —Charles Rosen "Lockwood writes with poetry and clarity—a rare combination. I especially enjoyed the connection that he makes between the works of Beethoven and the social and political context of their creation—we feel closer to Beethoven the man without losing our wonder at his genius." —Emanuel Ax "The magnum opus of an illustrious Beethoven scholar. From now on, we will all turn to Lockwood's Beethoven: The Music and the Life for insight and instruction." —Maynard Solomon "This is truly the Beethoven biography for the intelligent reader. Lewis Lockwood speaks in his preface of writing on Beethoven's works at 'a highly accessible descriptive level.' But he goes beyond that. His discussion of the music, based on a deep knowledge of its context and the composition processes behind it, explains, elucidates, and is not afraid to evaluate; while the biographical chapters, clearly and unfussily written, and taking full account of the newest thinking on Beethoven, align closely with the musical discussion. The result is a deeply perceptive book that comes as close as can be to presenting the man and the music as a unity."—Stanley Sadie, editor, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians "Impressive for both its scholarship and its fresh insights, this landmark work—fully accessible to the interested amateur—immediately takes its place among the essential references on this composer and his music."—Bob Goldfarb, KUSC-FM 91.5 "Lockwood writes like an angel: lucid, enthusiastic, stirring and enlightening. Beethoven has found his ablest interpreter."—Jonathan Keates, The Spectator "There is no better survey of Beethoven's compositions for a wide audience."—Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times Book Review