Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life, Padel
Author: Ruth Padel
Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
A personal voyage through the life and legend of one of the world’s greatest composers, Beethoven Variations uncovers the man behind the music, charting his private thoughts and feelings through letters, diaries, sketchbooks and the conversation books he used as his hearing declined. Presented in four movements, Beethoven is seen as a battered child, weeping at the clavier; the young virtuoso pianist agonized by his encroaching deafness; the passionate, heartbroken lover; the clumsy eccentric making coffee with exactly 60 beans.
Alongside this story is the author’s own — a quest into the heart of Europe and back to her own musical upbringing. Her book is a poet and string player’s intimate connection across the centuries with an artist who, though increasingly isolated, ended even his most harrowing works on a note of hope.
About Ruth Padel:
Ruth Padel has written 12 collections of petry, including the best-selling Darwin: A Life in Poems. She was the resident writer at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and grew up playing the viola. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Poetry at King’s College London.