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The Ninth is a gem of an audiobook, up in there in the top 10 I have listened to in many years (and books) on Audible. Beautifully written and beautifully narrated. The book is composed of 4 different essays on the subject, across which you get tastes of biography, political & military history, cultural history (musical, literary, visual arts), you see where Beethoven & the Ninth came from, and how his work and this work were viewed by contemporaries and by those who came after, especially by such later musical luminaries as Mendelsohn, Wagner and so forth.
One of the essays, the shortest one, is an analysis (which does not require a degree in musicology to understand) on the Ninth itself. I found it useful to be able to toggle between a CD copy of the music and the MP3 book to follow the line of argument here. That was not too burdensome. Without doing that, it would have been difficult to understand Sachs' explanations.
I highly recommend this book.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
I expect the reader of a book about Beethoven to have a good idea of how to pronounce German correctly. That is not too much to ask from an audiobook. If you agree, then you do not want to buy this one. The reader's German was so incredibly bad I almost gave up listening. Be warned: save yourself some major irritation and read this one for yourself.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful