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“If you're interested in Beethoven, or composers in general, this is the book for you. If - like me - you find the life histories of famous composers mildly interesting but not passionately fascinating, you might be a little bored with it here and there. Still, the author takes quite a dry...”see full review » see other reviews »
“This is a book for those that want to know. At times it is riviting and others it moves very slowly. That said, I did learn quite a bit about music history.”Glen Hanneman wrote this review Wednesday, June 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I just have to re-read this! I remember it the first time, with all the myriad details and events and even the revelation of anti-Semitism burgeoning during the early 1800's.
The journey this hair made, the personal recollections that Hiller brings to Beethoven's demeanor and character, are just extraordinary. I grew up with a father who was in awe of Beethoven's ability and majesty, and that certainly rubbed off on me. I had forgotten how long it took the French musical community, my beloved French Romantics, to embrace his music as acceptable.
If one is a fan of whodunits, of what a detective does on the streets, even if you're not musically inclined, I would highly recommend this book. Or someone who is interested in the Holocaust; there is a bit of unknown history woven into the story of this lock of hair.
And of course, those of us who love Beethoven and his music will refer to it many, many times..”
“This is a wonderful book on the history of Beethoven. Update:: went to see the San Jose State University Beethoven Center. Well worth your time. Check out the Steinbeck Center right next to it. The odd thing is not only is this center in my old back yard, but the first curator is from Carolina! (UNC Chapel Hill to those not from the south). It is also a tale of man’s inhumanity to each other, and those that try to restore it.”Daniel T Daum wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“very good”Shari wrote this review Saturday, December 29, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“If you're interested in Beethoven, or composers in general, this is the book for you. If - like me - you find the life histories of famous composers mildly interesting but not passionately fascinating, you might be a little bored with it here and there. Still, the author takes quite a dry subject and injects it with as much life as anyone could hope for, and there are parts where even readers who don't care much about Beethoven or composing will be glued to the pages if they give this book a chance. ”Barbara wrote this review Wednesday, October 5, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ This is a fascinating true story of how a lock of Beethoven's hair was cut off after his death by a young musician. It remained in the Hiller family for 3 generations until WWII when it came into the possession of a Danish doctor who helped many Jews escape from the Nazis. Eventually it was purchased from Sotheby's by 2 American Beethoven enthusiasts and submitted to extensive forensic tests. These tests explained the many illnesses he suffered from during his life including his deafness. Much of the book also details Beethoven's life, work, and relationships. ”Jaime Lire wrote this review Saturday, September 10, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very interesting stuff...especially if you like music history.”Jennifer H wrote this review Wednesday, February 2, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A unique combination of cutting edge science and a great true story. My favorite part is the chapter on how Beethoven's hair escaped the Nazis in Denmark.”Karl-Erik J wrote this review Friday, September 3, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is for the Adult Book Club @ my library.
It was ok. The book has chapters dedicated to Beethoven's life and other chapters are dedicated to the journey a lock of his hair made it to n auction block in England and purchased by two unlikely Americans.
There are times when I question why soooooooooo much information, why are parts repeated several times, but I guess in order for the author to build the story and to capture a broader audience it was necessary to go about it this way. It was not boring to read, it was actually somewhat engaging read although some parts I did skim. ”