The Ninth by Harvey Sachs
Beethoven and the World in 1824

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Synopsis

The premier of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Vienna on May 7, 1824, was the most significant artistic event of the year—and the work remains one of the most precedent-shattering and influential compositions in the history of music. Described in vibrant detail by eminent musicologist Harvey Sachs, this symbol of freedom and joy was so unorthodox that it amazed and confused listeners at its unveiling—yet it became a standard for subsequent generations of creative artists, and its composer came to embody the Romantic cult of genius. In this unconventional, provocative book, Beethoven’s masterwork becomes a prism through which we may view the politics, aesthetics, and overall climate of the era. Part biography, part history, part memoir, The Ninth brilliantly explores the intricacies of Beethoven’s last symphony—how it brought forth the power of the individual while celebrating the collective spirit of humanity.
 

About Harvey Sachs

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Harvey Sachs is a writer and music historian and the author or co-author of eight previous books, of which there have been more than fifty editions in fifteen languages. He has written for The New Yorker and many other publications, has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and is currently on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He lives in New York City.
 
Published June 9, 2010 by Random House. 240 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Travel, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ninth

Kirkus Reviews

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The Letters of Arturo Toscanini, 2002, etc.) leaves no doubt of his intentions, declaring immediately that the Ninth is “one of the most precedent-shattering and influential compositions in the history of music.” Following a brief laudatory prelude, the author describes a recent visit to the buil...

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The New York Times

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Harvey Sachs’s book puts Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in historical context and analyzes it in detail.

Jun 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

BC Books

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In his Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler wrote, “With the exit of fresco and oil...More of a letter home about one’s beloved than anything else.

Sep 02 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

BC Books

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For Sachs shows the reader that the beauty of the 9th Symphony conceals another quality which most listeners cannot fathom … just as a woman’s beauty camouflages her more abstract virtues.

Sep 02 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

BC Books

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For having just read The Ninth, Harvey Sachs’ wonderful book about Beethoven and the year 1824, it’s obvious that Sachs has an intimate understanding of the “forms that no one now understands.” The Ninth is about Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – and a whole lot more.

Sep 02 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

The Wall Street Journal

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Nobody understood Beethoven.

Jun 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

Examiner

He takes on critics as disparately related as Baudelaire (who considered Beethoven the harbinger of Romantic excesses), Theodor Adorno (who was frustrated with what he perceived as Beethoven’s populism), and Adrienne Rich (who claimed that the Ninth demonstrated the creator’s sexual impotence or ...

Aug 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

New York Journal of Books

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Sachs’ book lays out why he thinks the music became so iconic, while at the same time striving to achieve Beethoven’s goal of brotherhood and joy.Russian revolutionary Mikhail Bakunin said to Richard Wagner, after hearing the Ninth for the first time, “If all the music that has ever been written ...

Jun 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

The Washington Times

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Reading Harvey Sachs' meditation on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the era in which it was produced - grim post-revolutionary and post-Napoleonic Europe - is like taking a short course in music appreciation with your favorite professor.

Jul 23 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

The Telegraph

The Ninth Symphony is, very often, referred to just as that, without needing to mention its author.

Jul 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

The Telegraph

The new book by Harvey Sachs, The Ninth: Beethoven .

Jun 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

Seattle PI

For having just read The Ninth, Harvey Sachs’ wonderful book about Beethoven and the year 1824, it’s obvious that Sachs has an intimate understanding of the “forms that no one now understands.” The Ninth is about Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – and a whole lot more.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

NJ.com

Politics » |

Jun 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

Publishers Weekly

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Through detailed musical analysis and condensed readings of cultural politics and 19th-century history, Sachs ponders “what role so-called high culture played, plays, and ought to play in civilization.” Using the year 1824 and the premiere of the Ninth as ground zero, Sachs reviews the literary, ...

Feb 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

Bookmarks Magazine

This is the ninth book by Harvey Sachs, a composer and an author of several well-regarded studies of classical music.

Jun 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

The New Zealand Herald

Protecting them and the other rhinos, elephants, leopards… Local video ad firm snapped up by overseas buyer A New Zealand firm that provides cloud-based video transfer services to the advertising industry has become the latest Kiwi technology company to be snapped up by… Israel's defence ...

Dec 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ninth: Beethoven and the ...

Reader Rating for The Ninth
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