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Short Synopsis
More than a decade in the making, Jan Swafford's Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph will be the standard Beethoven biography for years to come.

Full Synopsis
Jan Swafford’s biographies have established him as a revered music historian, capable of bringing his subjects vibrantly to life. His magnificent new biography of Ludwig van Beethoven peels away layers of legend to get to the living, breathing human being who composed some of the world’s most iconic music.

Swafford mines sources never before used in English-language biographies to reanimate the revolutionary ferment of Enlightenment-era Bonn, where Beethoven grew up and imbibed the ideas that would shape all of his future work. Swafford then tracks his subject to Vienna, capital of European music, where Beethoven built his career in the face of critical incomprehension, crippling ill health, romantic rejection, and "fate's hammer," his ever-encroaching deafness.

"Beethoven aficionados and lovers of classical music will want this book, as will readers interested in biography and the artistic milieu of late 18th- and early 19th-century Europe." ---Library Journal Starred Review

"In this brilliant, exhaustive story, biographer and music historian Swafford (Johannes Brahms) brings new life to Beethoven." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Due to the author's unsurpassed research and comprehension, we stand in the presence of a genius and see all his flawed magic." ---Kirkus Starred Review

"A marvelous achievement." ---Booklist Starred Review

"Indeed, readers will want to refer to the book often when they listen to Beethoven. A marvelous achievement." ---Ray Olson, Booklist

"Impassioned and informed. . . . Swafford's exuberance is infectious, prompting the reader to revisit works both famous and obscure." ---The New Yorker

"Swafford creates the perfect blend of a historical person and musical genius. . . . Monumental. . . . A truly remarkable biography." ---Christian Science Monitor
Library Journal Review

Publishers Weekly Review

Kirkus Review

Booklist Review


Anguish and Triumph

Author Jan Swafford

Narrated by Michael Prichard

Publication date Jan 5, 2015

Running time 39 hrs 3 min

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