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The changing image of Beethoven : a study in mythmaking

Author: Alessandra Comini
Publisher: Santa Fe : Sunstone Press, ©2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : Rev. edView all editions and formats
Summary:
"No composer in the history of music has undergone so many makeovers in the portrayal of his facial features or the interpretation of his cultural legacy as Ludwig van Beethoven. The myth began during his lifetime when few verbal or visual portrayals of the composer adhered strictly to his physical appearance; instead his mannerisms, manners, and moods prevailed. Promoted from peevish recluse to Promethean hero, he
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Named Person: Ludwig van Beethoven; Ludwig van Beethoven
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Alessandra Comini
ISBN: 9780865346611 0865346615
OCLC Number: 219568543
Description: 480 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Contents: Introduction : mythmaking as cultural history --
Beethoven alive : eyewitness accounts and contemporary likenesses --
Beethoven dead : shaping the posthumous portrait --
Beethoven interpreted : the musician's musician. Haydn to Chopin ; Berlioz to Brahms --
The three-dimensional Beethoven --
Vienna's Beethoven of 1902 : apotheosis and redemption.
Responsibility: Alessandra Comini.
More information:

Abstract:

"No composer in the history of music has undergone so many makeovers in the portrayal of his facial features or the interpretation of his cultural legacy as Ludwig van Beethoven. The myth began during his lifetime when few verbal or visual portrayals of the composer adhered strictly to his physical appearance; instead his mannerisms, manners, and moods prevailed. Promoted from peevish recluse to Promethean hero, he was pictured early on as a "genius inspired by inner voices in the presence of nature, with leonine hair writhing wildly in symbolic parallel to the seething turbulence of creativity," according to the author.

In this unique study of the myth-making process across two centuries, Alessandra Comini examines the contradictory imagery of Beethoven in contemporary verbal accounts and in some 200 paintings, prints, sculptures, and monuments. With a witty yet penetrating narrative, she moves through these images to construct a collective image of the composer that reflects the many differing impressions left by devoted "myth makers" ranging from Wagner, Nietzsche, Berlioz, and Brahms to Rolland, D'Annunzio, and Jenny Lind."--pub. desc.

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