William Kinderman has been a professor of music at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and also teaches at the Hochschule der Kunste, Berlin. His book on Beethoven's "Diabelli Variations" has received wide acclaim, as has his recording of that work on CD for Hyperion. Kinderman has performed and lectured widely in Canada, the U.S.A, and Europe. He has been a regular contributor of liner notes for recordings of Alfred Brendel, Colin Davis, and the Guarneri Quartet.
"A most welcome addition to Beethoven literature...combines a musician's perception of the music and an informed musicologist command of recent Beethoven scholarship. It surveys, without unduly straining connections, Beethoven's life and composition, adding as a bonus, some philosophical perspectives."
"A very rewarding book to read, with many perceptive observations and original ideas."
"Both strongly original and grounded in the best and most recent scholarship."
"Highly original and always thought-provoking. The book offers important points of departure for a more detailed investigation of works which are and will, after all, remain central to the repertory of western music...Kinderman's Beethoven will merit consideration for a long time to come.
"Wonderfully rich in musical insight; he really takes you through Beethoven creative process including--and this is extremely valuable--a continual set of side glances at the sketches and alternative versions of specific works that Beethoven discarded (but, praise be, did not destroy) along the way...I first encountered Kinderman...when he served as interlocutor at Alfred Brendel's thrilling series of talks on Beethoven performance. To define both Kinderman and his book as worthy of Brendel's company is as high a compliment as I can devise."
From the Publisher
Combining musical insight with the most recent research, William Kinderman's Beethoven is both a richly drawn portrait of the man and a guide to his music. Kinderman traces the composer's intellectual and musical development from the early works written in Bonn to the Ninth Symphony and the late quartets, looking at compositions from different and original perspectives that show Beethoven's art as a union of sensuous and rational, of expression and structure. In analyses of individual pieces, Kinderman shows that the deepening of Beethoven's musical thought was a continuous process over decades of his life.||In this new updated edition, Kinderman gives more attention to the composer's early chamber music, his songs, his opera Fidelio , and to a number of often-neglected works of the composer's later years and fascinating projects left incomplete. A revised view emerges from this of Beethoven's aesthetics and the musical meaning of his works. Rather than the conventional image of a heroic and tormented figure, Kinderman provides a more complex, more fully rounded account of the composer. Although Beethoven's deafness and his other personal crises are addressed, together with this ever-increasing commitment to his art, so too are the lighter aspects of his personality: his humor, his love of puns, his great delight in juxtaposing the exalted and the commonplace.