The Last Master: Passion and Pain : A Fictional Biography of Ludwig Van Beethoven Paperback
by John Suchet
Part of the Last Master series
Passion and Pain, the second volume of John Suchet's compelling trilogy about the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, depicts the composer at the height of his powers - yet all the time beset by his deafness, the great tragedy of his life. Famous throughout Europe, championed by wealthy patrons, sought out by other musicians, Beethoven's triumphs and frustrations are shared with the reader as he composes and performs the towering works of the 'heroic period' - the 'Eroica' Symphony, the 'Emperor' Concerto, the Fifth and the 'Appassionata' Sonata - and as he struggles alone in the middle of the night to hear the great music he is creating. We learn of the one great love of his life, his 'Eternally Beloved', meet the loyal friends who eased the suffering of the genius among them, encounter Johanna, the sister-in-law he despises, and witness the invasion of Vienna by French forces, as Beethoven seeks shelter from the shells in his brother's cellar.
Written as a novel, though strictly in accordance with the known facts, Passion and Pain is a monumental narrative.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 480 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 03/12/1998
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780751526196
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Review by Jamie638
This is the second volume of John Suchet's biographical novel trilogy about Beethoven. It picks up where volume 1 left off, at the writing of the Heiligenstadt Testament in October, 1802, in which Beethoven is in such despair about his advancing deafness that he actually contemplates suicide. Thankfully for us and posterity, he decided against it realizing that he had much more music in him. You experience the compositional process that makes the Eroica the groundbreaking work that it is, as well as other masterpieces such as the 5th Symphony, the Pastorale, and the Kreutzer (or more accurately, Bridgetower) Sonata. Beethoven also meets the woman who was to become his "Immortal Beloved", Antonie Brentano, and the volume ends with their tryst in Prague in early July, 1812. As in volume 1, you become intimately acquainted with Beethoven, personality flaws and all. Once again, I strongly commend this book to all lovers of of classical music.