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His Spiritual Development

By J. W. N. Sullivan

276 pp

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About the Book

Too often the study of great composers is limited to either a musical analysis of their compositions, or biographical scrutiny of their personal lives. Yet, particularly in the case of the Romantic composers, the artistic and personal sides of their lives are not separate entities but instead are intertwined. J. W. N. Sullivan understood this clearly, and his book Beethoven: His Spiritual Development illustrates this link in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven. Fiercely charismatic and passionate, Beethoven is an exemplar of the impulses that drove the Romantic era. Sullivan traces the developments in Beethoven’s personal life, his beliefs, his aspirations, showing how they are manifested in the various stages of his musical career. Through his music, the listener gains a glimpse of Beethoven’s successes and failures, from the triumphant heroism of his third and fourth symphonies to the delicate genius of his later string quartets. This classic work is a must-read for devotees of classical music and all those interested in exploring the connection between the art and the artist.

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