December 2, 2023 | Rome, Italy


By |2018-03-21T18:28:55+01:00January 1st, 2007|Recent Reviews|

By Maynard Solomon

Schirmer Books, 1996 (2001). 554 pages.


ove. War. Genius. Suicide. Betrayal. Extreme Jealously. Mistaken identity. Legal jeopardy. Pure artistic tragedy. Music to save the world. These are among the themes enwrapped within Maynard Solomon’s “Beethoven,” a work as penetrating as “The Big Def One” himself. Praised for his thoroughness, Solomon plays therapist to one of the greatest composers who ever lived. He describes the many riddles of Beethoven’s life, seeking to explain how they affected the tragic figure and how this in turn affected his artist output. Each section is broken up into history and music, many times overlapping each other. The discussion of Beethoven’s later works is especially illuminating. The book isn’t overly filled with musical theory, so anyone with an interest in learning about Beethoven will be able to enjoy it.

About the Author:

After graduating from the University of North Carolina with a degree in music composition, Matthew Fiorentino flew to Italy to have a look around. While attending language classes in Sorrento, he fell in love with his Italian teacher. Matt has an unhealthy obsession with Italian volcanoes (Stromboli is sick), late Beethoven, Salman Rushdie, Totó, Dante, and Sicilian cannoli. He now lives in Boston.