Beethoven: ‘The Man Revealed’ by John Suchet

For the third time I have a book recommendation for my classical music blog. The first two books I recommended were “The Cellist”, by the great author of the Gabriel Allon espionage/thriller series, Daniel Silva; and the second book I recommended was a great historical book on George Gershwin, written in an exciting novel form, “Rhapsody” by Mitchell J. Kaplan.

This book I have just read is a great historical biography on the life of the great master, Ludwig Van Beethoven, “Beethoven: The Man Revealed” by the classical music historical musicologist [I hope that’s the right word to use], John Suchet.

For lovers of classical music, especially of the great composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven, this is a wonderful must read non-fiction book; but even for those not that knowledgeable about classical music but have heard of Beethoven, this is a very interesting-informative-and great read on the unique life of the genius Beethoven. There are some chapters that are riveting, like Beethoven’s composing and then choosing where and when to first reveal his amazing, groundbreaking Choral Symphony #9, “Ode To Joy”. No spoilers, just to say, I got chills and tears in my eyes at what happened.

Like I say in my biography, I am certainly no pro of classical music, just a big fan, and there are many times I make mistakes on my blog posts and I am still learning [hopefully]-with so, so much to learn. I know enough about classical music to really appreciate how little I do know. For example, I learned in this book of a piano sonata I have never heard by Beethoven. He has so many wonderful exciting and beautiful piano sonatas I am familiar with, but some how this one escaped me. I found out in the book, it is not just any piano sonata, it may be the best sonata he composed and one of the best in the sonata genre of any composer. The sonata is Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #29 in Bb Major, called the Hammerklavier [which means the piano]. Beethoven named it Hammerklavier because he had just received late in his life this beautiful grand piano that is close to the modern grand pianos [at the time most of the keyboard instruments were called pianofortes-an instrument moving away from the harpsichord and a precursor to the modern grand pianos].

So, learning about this great piano sonata by Beethoven, I just had to go to YouTube and listen to it. Oh, my, what an amazing piece…I see why a ground breaker, and why Beethoven himself called this his greatest sonata. It is a long sonata that lasts about 45-50 minutes with 4 movements: 1. Allegro; 2. Scherzo; 3. Adagio Sostenuto; and 4. Largo-Allegro-Allegro Risoluto.

This is a long piano sonata so sit back, play in full screen and enjoy, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #29 in Bb Major, “Hammerklavier”:

For fans of Beethoven, or for those who would just like to learn more about this great genius of classical music, I highly recommend, “Beethoven: The Man Revealed”, by John Suchet.

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