This classic of music analysis by a noted musicologist offers revealing insights into Beethoven's
personality and music. George Grove, the founding editor of Grove's Dictionary of Music and
Musicians, interweaves fascinating background information on the composer's historical era with
quotations, letters, and anecdotes. He examines the nine symphonies in chronological order,
movement by movement, illustrating his points with numerous excerpts — more than 400 in all.
In addition to emphasizing the uniqueness of Beethoven's music and its iconoclastic renunciation of
established musical theory, Grove comments at length on the relation of the symphonies to the minor
works, events in the composer's personal life, the conditions under which he worked, and other
fascinating details. Examples of Beethoven's correspondence include several letters to the Countess
Theresa and the famous letter to his brothers Carl and Johann.