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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The strangest rabbit hole yet!

What did you love best about Great Masters: Beethoven - His Life and Music?

I have been journeying with Dr. G for several months now. Whenever I feel at a loss, I grab a supplemental lecture and jump down the rabbit hole. So I have learned about the lives of Bach and Mozart, and about the concerto and look forward to learning about the symphony—while using “How to Listen to and Understand Great Music” as my foundation. I just got back from the life of Beethoven—amazing music, amazing but wild gent—not at all what I expected--his life was more difficult, more sad. But I am stunned by how he changed the course of music despite the struggles of his own life. I will listen to his music with a different ear.


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- JaneN "Jane Neal"

Terrible lectures

Any additional comments?

This lecture series is perfect for someone who wants to get a smattering of information and does not mind being treated in a patronizing, supercilious and insulting manner by a lecturer so desperate to be "cool" and "hip" that he wastes our time with redundancies, digressions and self-indulgent rants. I can't imagine why he is considered a good lecturer.

By the way, I gave him more than one chance, having listened to three of his lecture series and each one is more grating and annoying than the last. If he just cut out some of the supercilious repetitions of adjectives and pseudo-hipster quips, he would have more time for the substance.

Stay away.

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- Jerry "JER"

Book Details

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