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Beethoven the Pianist


Part of Musical Performance and Reception

  • Date Published: May 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521119597

£ 72.99

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About the Authors
  • The widely held belief that Beethoven was a rough pianist, impatient with his instruments, is not altogether accurate: it is influenced by anecdotes dating from when deafness had begun to impair his playing. Presenting a detailed biography of Beethoven's formative years, this book reviews the composer's early career, outlining how he was influenced by teachers, theorists and instruments. Skowroneck describes the development and decline of Beethoven's pianism, and pays special attention to early pianos, their construction and their importance for Beethoven and the modern pianist. The book also includes discussions of legato and Beethoven's trills, and a complete annotated review of eyewitnesses' reports about his playing. Skowroneck presents a revised picture of Beethoven which traces his development from an impetuous young musician into a virtuoso in command of many musical resources.

    • Includes a fascinating discussion of eyewitness accounts of Beethoven's playing, documenting the rise and decline of his powers as a pianist
    • Provides fresh biographical insights into Beethoven's background and musical development, investigating the impact of his deafness on his playing and treatment of his instruments
    • Contains detailed discussion on two key 'Beethoven topics': his legato and his trills – two notoriously difficult areas which are made easier to navigate by a chronological approach and explanatory music examples
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is essential reading for anyone who wants the latest research on Beethoven's piano playing, plus a comprehensive collection of all the significant documentation relating to this subject. There should be a copy in every major library and on the bookshelves of all pianists who wish to play Beethoven's music in the way he envisaged.' Barry Cooper, University of Manchester

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521119597
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 63 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Beethoven, his Playing and his Instruments:
    1. Beethoven's early training
    2. Beethoven the pianist
    3. Beethoven's first decade in Vienna
    4. The 1803 Érard Grand Piano
    Part II. Sound Ideal and Performance:
    5. The builder's influence
    6. The player's influence
    Part III. Sound Ideal, Notation and Stylistic Change:
    7. Common touch and legato
    8. The performance of Beethoven's trills

  • Author

    Tilman Skowroneck
    Tilman Skowroneck is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southampton, and is also a freelance harpsichordist and fortepianist. His main area of interest is the early piano, its construction and its repertoire. This is his first book.

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