Great Masters: Beethoven - His Life and Music : The Great Courses: Fine Arts & Music

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Robert Greenberg
  • Series: The Great Courses: Fine Arts & Music
  • 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Have you ever wondered how the lives of great composers - especially when set against the social, political, and cultural context of their world - influenced their music?
After listening to this perceptive series of eight lectures on the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven, you will likely find that you hear his work in an entirely different way, with your insight informed by new knowledge of how Beethoven was able to create masterpieces from the crises of his life.
You'll learn about the years of progressive hearing loss - ultimately to produce total deafness - and the understandable agony and rage such a fate would bring upon a composer. About his deep depression over the end of his relationship with the woman he calls his Immortal Beloved. About his pathological hatred of authority, his persecution complex, even delusional behaviors.
But you'll also learn how each of these crises, and many others, served to drive Beethoven inward, to reinvent himself and redeem his suffering through art, creating disruptive works of profound passion and beauty that reinvented the nature of musical expression in the Western world.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The most annoying speaker I have ever heard

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I do not think I have ever listened to a speaker as annoying as this one. He talks like a clown, his entire manner is supercilious, he puts a ridiculous emphasis on unnecessary words and he throws in inappropriate jokes (I mean that not in the PC sense) that made me want to scream. I fear that the sound of him shouting "AND I QUOTE... ...UNQUOTE" will haunt me for many weeks.

The content is interesting. Of course, Beethoven's life was just so fascinating, I would put it in the category of things everyone ought to study. The material isn't novel. Any decent biography of Beethoven will give you the same stories and the same interpretation of them, probably in more depth - though a book won't give you the musical extracts.

My recommendation would be to read a book about Beethoven's life and then listen to the lectures by Jonathan Biss available free on coursera. They are incomparably superior to this buffoon.

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- hfffoman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses