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From the Author's Preface:

"I think that during his maximum tune Beethoven used to be essentially involved to specific his own imaginative and prescient of lifestyles. This imaginative and prescient was once, in fact, the made of his personality and his event. Beethoven the fellow and Beethoven the composer aren't unconnected entities, and the identified heritage of the fellow can be utilized to throw gentle upon the nature of his music."

Clifton Fadiman has acknowledged of this vintage study:

"It is the main attention-grabbing booklet on song that i've got ever learn and it's not written for musical specialists; quite for individuals like myself who wish to take heed to tune yet can boast no targeted wisdom of it. It bargains not just with song, on which i don't communicate with authority, yet with human lifestyles as a rule, approximately that you and that i converse with authority on a daily basis of our lives."

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He had simply to be himself. The strength that dwelt in him was once instantly and unquestioningly famous, and was once tacitly approved as greater than enough to obliterate what alterations of rank and tradition there can be. just a little ahead of even a Mozart and Haydn have been ranked as servants of the the Aristocracy. Beethoven was once by no means in this footing. the adaptation should have been due entirely to his strength of personality. His compositions didn't, at present, entitle him to rank with Mozart or perhaps Haydn, in order that the perspective of the Viennese the Aristocracy in the direction of him was once now not because of a belated popularity on their a part of the reverence as a result of genius. His nice powers as a pianist no doubt made him appropriate to the music-loving Viennese aristocracy, yet there has been not anything of the diplomatic deference of the appearing poodle, an angle to which many reliable males have been pressured, in Beethoven’s family with them. The few makes an attempt that have been made to regard him de haut en bas have been instantly and intensely successfully resented. His behaviour turns out to were solely unfastened from anxiousness, deference, or constraint. He confirmed himself completely fearless in his public contests with different pianists, and his victories—sometimes annihilating ones—seem to were in basic terms what he anticipated. Beethoven’s good fortune should have had the influence of strengthening his conviction that his strength used to be equivalent to any calls for that will be made upon it. He denied himself not anything; he gave each impulse its loose vent. He cheerfully made enemies among his opponents. He took no pains to humour his buyers. He spent his cash, if no longer recklessly, not less than carelessly. It was once as though, inspite of his early glimpses of the darkish part of existence, he used to be now confident that his sheer power was once enough to guard him from all in poor health. This was once partially due, after all, to the intoxicating cognizance of his personal genius. humans already observed in him a moment Mozart, and Beethoven, we could be convinced, felt that he was once destined to whatever even higher. And Beethoven at present enormously wanted reputation. His genius was once to be exploited for his own glory. He had no longer but reached the location of seeing himself relatively as a clergyman than as a king. His basic angle is exhibited in a single of his arrogantly funny letters to courtroom Secretary Von Zmeskall. “The satan take you,” he says, “I don’t need to know whatever approximately all your process of ethics. energy is the morality of guys who stand proud of the remaining, and it's also mine. ” however it will be a mistake to consider that Beethoven was once a tender genius whose luck had long gone to his head. He rather used to be a robust guy. His realization of energy used to be now not basically the mirrored image of different people’s critiques approximately him. He has not one of the strained air of a guy who's wilfully conserving an angle. at once whatever vital, akin to the emotions of an outdated good friend, are concerned, away is going all of the younger Beethoven’s cynicism and vanity. It by no means happens to him that he has a pose to keep up, just because he had now not been conserving a pose.

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