to educate Norman Warwick

The authoritative Beethoven biography, endorsed by and produced in close collaboration with the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, is timed for the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth

With unprecedented access to the archives at the Beethoven House in Bonn, renowned Beethoven conductor and scholar Jan Caeyers expertly weaves together a deeply human and complex image of Beethoven–his troubled youth, his unpredictable mood swings, his desires, relationships, and conflicts with family and friends, the mysteries surrounding his affair with the “immortal beloved,” and the dramatic tale of his deafness. Caeyers also offers new insights into Beethoven’s music and its gradual transformation from the work of a skilled craftsman into that of a consummate artist.

we´re gonna need a bigger bookshelf for BOOK 4

Beethoven; A Life      by Jan Caeyers.

Price                              $.2995  $27.85

Publisher                      University of California Press

Publish Date                 June 21, 2022

Pages                             680

Dimensions                  5.98 X 8.98 X 1.73 inches | 1.95 pounds

Language                      English

Type                              Paperback

EAN/UPC                    9780520390218

Jan Caeyers is a conductor and musicologist. One of Europe’s  preeminent experts on Beethoven, he is the music director of the Beethoven orchestra Le Concert Olympique and a member of the Department of Musicology at KU Leuven.

Beethoven, A Life continues the journey towards a more complex and nuanced picture of the great composer. . . . Caeyers seeks to unravel the networks that influenced Beethoven’s career, to paint portraits of those who supported him, and to outline the many interests that were at play in forming Beethoven both as a man and an artist. . . . The result is a very readable book that, as a by-product, offers a generous supply of scene-setting detail. This ranges from life in Vienna in the early 19th century to the grinding economic impact of the French revolution and its aftermath, and even the bathing customs in Bohemian spa towns.”

FT Books of the Year 2020– “Financial Times”

“Among the books about the legend . . . in this anniversary year, the most substantial is Jan Caeyers’ Beethoven: A Life, a magisterial account, rich in archival findings, translated with revisions from the German edition of 2009.” Books of the Year 2020

 “Times Literary Supplement”

Notable Music Books of 2020–Alex Ross, “The Rest is Noise”
“Detailed and engaging, this fitting tribute to the iconic composer will enrich anyone’s enjoyment and appreciation of his great music.” “Library Journal”

The author of Beethoven: A Life, in speaking to the EC Press Blog, ´where bright minds share bold ideas´ explained why he was drawn to the composer´s life and works.,

´Beethoven’s music fascinates like no other, as it stimulates in equal measure both the head and the heart—facets in music that are often diametrically opposed. Not only did Beethoven push the musical language of his day to its limits, but he also conceived of an entirely new musical grammar. One significant consequence of his works was the introduction of the concept of “innovation” as a key parameter in the evaluation of new music.

A noteworthy aspect of Beethoven’s oeuvre is that it covers every genre of the time, ranging from major vocal, orchestral, and chamber works to the smallest occasional pieces. Each one bears his unique compositional signature and hallmark of quality—none of his works drops below a certain critical quality threshold. And in contrast to the great, tormented, and majestic works (da-da-da-DAAAA) that are part of the mythical image of Beethoven cultivated in the nineteenth century, there exists a broad spectrum of compositions characterized by tenderness, lyricism, pathos, and even wit. These elements are reflected in Beethoven’s own personality; especially in his youth, he was often described as an amiable, charming, and sportive young man.

This biographer that the life Beethoven lived was in many ways a product of his time.

´Át a critical period in history, during the transition from the old feudal system to the rise of the middle classes. Not only did he express the changing Zeitgeist in his music, but he also redefined the profession of “composer” in both a practical and psychological sense. He saw the shifts in society and turned them expertly to his advantage, capitalizing creatively on emerging patterns in musical life and consumption.

At the same time, Beethoven’s music is timeless. It is based on universal and unchanging laws of beauty, which means that even when its high degree of unpredictability sends it to emotional extremes, the listener needs not fear a loss of overall cohesion´.

Caeyers even discussed what musical piece best represents the dynamism, complexity, and enormity of the composer’s persona?

´I believe that Beethoven’s greatest achievement is the Missa solemnis, which he worked on for nearly four years (with a few interruptions). This period was preceded by nearly ten years of preparatory study, which allowed Beethoven—who had barely even attended school—to draw from a well-filled autodidactic wellspring of musical, literary, iconographic, theological, and liturgical knowledge. Thanks to his sixth sense for musical proportion and structure, which he continued to refine and develop throughout his life, he was able to incorporate this broad spectrum of expertise into a single homogenous work without permitting rhetorical detail to produce compositional tunnel vision. The Missa solemnis can also be regarded as Beethoven’s ideological and spiritual testament: a message to humankind that transcends the realm of music and is as current today as ever´´ .

In the 250th celebration of Beethoven’s birth, considered what he hoped readers might take away from  his biography of Beethoven.

´Any biography of Beethoven is in fact a portrait of the universal artist, and demonstrates that the most fascinating careers are never straightforward. Granted, the young Beethoven was incredibly talented, but his genius was the result of the determination and imagination with which he responded to the obstacles in his path. In this sense, he is the prototypical modern citizen who, regardless of background or origin, can take control of their life in order to achieve greatness. Beethoven also left an important legacy that can be interpreted as a spiritual missive: the notion that striving for excellence in Beauty is what enables humankind to rise above the brutal and materialistic nature of reality, and in so doing, to give individual meaning to existence. In this sense, engaging with Beethoven—both his life and his music—is a source of inspiration to us all.


please note logo Recommended titles of books about Music and Musicians in our weekly feature, You´re Gonna Need A Bigger Bookshelf can be found on line at Powell´s City Of Books at

Some photographs employed have been taken from images categorised as  free to use.

In our occasional re-postings Sidetracks And Detours are confident that we are not only sharing with our readers excellent articles written by experts but are also pointing to informed and informative sites readers will re-visit time and again. Of course, we feel sure our readers will also return to our daily not-for-profit blog knowing that we seek to provide core original material whilst sometimes spotlighting the best pieces from elsewhere, as we engage with genres and practitioners along all the sidetracks & detours we take.

Recommended titles of books about Music and Musicians in our weekly feature, You´re Gonna Need A Bigger Bookshelf can be found on line at Powell´s City Of Books at

Today´s article was collated by Norman Warwick, a weekly columnist with Lanzarote Information and owner and editor of this daily blog at Sidetracks And Detours.

Norman has also been a long serving broadcaster, co-presenting the weekly all across the arts programme on Crescent Community Radio for many years with Steve, and his own show on Sherwood Community Radio. He has been a regular guest on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio 4.

As a published author and poet he was a founder member of Lendanear Music, with Colin Lever and Just Poets with Pam McKee, Touchstones Creative Writing Group (where he was creative writing facilitator for a number of years) with Val Chadwick and all across the arts with Robin Parker.

From Monday to Friday, you will find a daily post here at Sidetracks And Detours and, should you be looking for good reading, over the weekend you can visit our massive but easy to navigate archives of over 500 articles.

The purpose of this daily not-for-profit blog is to deliver news, previews, interviews and reviews from all across the arts to die-hard fans and non- traditional audiences around the world. We are therefore always delighted to receive your own articles here at Sidetracks And Detours. So if you have a favourite artist, event, or venue that you would like to tell us more about just drop a Word document attachment to me at

with a couple of appropriate photographs in a zip folder if you wish. Beiung a not-for-profit organisation we unfortunately cannot pay you but we will always fully attribute any pieces we publish. You therefore might also. like to include a brief autobiography and photograph of yourself

in your submission. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sidetracks And Detours is seeking to join the synergy of organisations that support the arts of whatever genre. We are therefore grateful to all those share information to reach as wide and diverse an audience as possible

correspondents                                Michael Higgins

                                                            Steve Bewick

                                                            Gary Heywood Everett

                                                            Alan Lalwless

                                                            Steve Cooke

                                                            Tony Brady

                                                            Peter Pearson

                                                            Seamus Kelly

                                                            Grahma Marshall

Researchers                                     DCI Coward

                                                            Superintent Shepherd

Media sources          Hot Biscuits Jazz Radio                      mix-cloud

The Adsubian Gallery                         newsletter

The Lanzarote Art Gallery        



Frtn At The Stoller                            The Stoller Hall

Jazz In Reading                        

Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues      

Rob Adams                                         Music That´s Going Places

Lanzarote Information              

all across the arts                       

Rochdale Music Society           

Lendanear                                           www.lendanearmusic

Agenda Cultura Lanzarote

Larry Yaskiel – writer

Goodreads                                        https://www.goodreads.

groundup music                                  HOME | GroundUP Music


Joni Mitchell newsletter

passenger newsletter

paste mail ins

sheku kanneh mason newsletter


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.