This authoritative biography of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was a landmark in its meticulous research and use of source material. For the American author Alexander Wheelock Thayer (1817-97), it represented a lifelong labour of love, yet it remained unfinished at his death. His friend Hermann Deiters (1833-1907) edited and translated Thayer's work into German, publishing three volumes which covered Beethoven's life to 1816. Since Deiters also died before the biography could be completed, musicologist Hugo Riemann (1849-1919) was called upon to conclude the work. The final German volumes appeared in 1907 and 1908. It was the American critic Henry Edward Krehbiel (1854-1923) who prepared the present work, the first and considerably revised English version, published in three volumes in 1921. Volume 1 covers Beethoven's career up to 1802, Volume 2 covers the period 1803-18, and Volume 3 addresses Beethoven's final years, his ninth symphony and late quartets.
Alexander Wheelock Thayer, Hermann Deiters, Hugo Riemann