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The Life & Times of Beethoven

The First Angry Man
Narrated by: Robert Greenberg
Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins

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Summary

In The Life & Times of Beethoven, celebrated composer and music historian Professor Robert Greenberg of San Francisco Performances gives you a unique perspective on a musical genius the likes of which the world had never seen before - or since. 

Blending biography, history, and music appreciation, these 10 lectures portray Beethoven’s extraordinary (and still modern-sounding) music as a direct outgrowth of his life, environment, and interior emotional landscape. What makes Beethoven’s anger so special is that he was the first composer to portray his own raw (sometimes even violent) emotions directly in his music. As a result, for more than 200 years, works like his later quartets, his Hammerklavier sonata, and his Symphony No. 9, have moved, touched, and sometimes even frightened listeners in a manner almost primal. 

Professor Greenberg lays bare the links between Beethoven’s life and his incredible output of music. Listeners will learn:

  • How the crisis involving Beethoven’s hearing became a catalyst for his musical creativity and originality, 
  • How Beethoven’s infatuation with Napoleon helped him change the language of Western music, 
  • How Beethoven’s “Heroic Music” helped the composer symbolically overcome his pain and unhappiness, 
  • How six factors contributed to Beethoven’s crushing fall from popular grace in 1815, 
  • How Beethoven revolutionized the genre of string quartets during the last two years of his compositional life, and much more!

These lectures give an unforgettable perspective of an angry, alienated composer, who, nevertheless, translated personal defeats into musical triumphs.

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

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  • Jacobus
  • 04-11-19

An excellent overview of Beethoven's life

The Life and Times of Beethoven is a biography compiled by Prof Robert Greenberg of The Great Courses-fame. As part of the Great Courses you are enticed with an academically well-researched and very interesting course.

However, if you expect music examples, as with most of Prof Greenberg's courses, this course lacks it. It is history, moulded and made interesting. On the upside, while most Great Courses were created as video courses, this course focus on audio presentation. There is no workbook and you can drive and listen.

I highly recommend the course. It is a splendid biography by a heavy weight in Musicology of probably the most famous composer.

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  • lisa marie
  • 20-01-20

all talk no music

constantly pitching his other books the lecturer shouts, doesn't play any of Beethoven's music. awful

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  • THS
  • 12-11-19

WHAT no music????

The description implied that there would be analysis of the music. That is why I purchased this series. 10 minutes in he’s explaining how to buy his CD’s.

I can’t express how disappointed I was.

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  • Albert Navarra
  • 21-02-20

Just brilliant

I feel like I actually knew Beethoven, personally, and knew him well, even smelled him, after listening to this brilliant series. Great job, Professor Greenberg.

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  • Dustin
  • 14-02-20

Robert Greenberg is always great!

I've listened to nearly all of the Great Courses by Robert Greenberg and he has delivered once again. Audio clips of the music would have been a plus and I would have paid more to hear them. Otherwise everything was great and I would encourage everyone to listen to this course.

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  • Nina Wheeler
  • 30-01-20

Another Hit from Dr. Bob

I was excited to find Robert Greenberg on Audible; it did not disappoint. Thank you for another great course.

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  • laurie dahlstrom
  • 24-01-20

Beethoven

Fascinating. As a musician myself, I Learned so much about the man and his many agonies.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-01-20

Great Narrator—interesting story

Robert Greenberg might just be my favorite narrator on Audible. He was great to listen to and the story of Beethoven’s life was very interesting.