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The 39 Apartments of Ludwig Van Beethoven [Kindle Edition]

Jonah Winter , Barry Blitt

Kindle Price: £10.34 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

How hard is it to move 5 legless pianos 39 times?
Beethoven owned five legless pianos and composed great works on the floor. His first apartment was in the center of Vienna's theater district... but he forgot to pay rent, so he had to move. (And it's very hard to move a piano. Even harder to move five). Beethoven's next apartment was in a dangerous part of town... so he moved, and the pianos followed on a series of pulleys. Then came an apartment with a view of the Danube (but he made too much noise and the neighbors complained), followed by an attic apartment (where he made even MORE of a rukus), and so Beethoven moved again and again. Each time, pianos were bought, left behind, transported on pulleys, slides, and by movers, all so that gifted Beethoven could compose great works of music for the world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 10983 KB
  • Print Length: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (30 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HBQJ4C6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! 9 July 2007
By LonestarReader - Published on
This book begins with a musical score in Beethoven's own hand. The end papers are an actual photograph of Beethoven's working manuscript for the Grosse Fuge in B flat major, Op. 134.

Jonah Winter recounts the story of Beethoven's pianos and the thirty-nine apartments where he lived in Vienna. So often children's "non-fiction" blurs the line between fact and speculation. Not so in this book. Winter clearly identifies what is fact and what is conjecture and does so with great humor.

Diaries, eviction notices, physical evidence and piano movers' notes are used as a basis for the story he tells. Why did Ludwig change apartments so frequently? Well, there is some evidence to suggest the neighbors complained. As Beethoven moves from place to place, Winter chronicles the music that was composed there. An author's note at the end gives additional information about his deafness and the amazing fact that he composed his magnificent Ninth Symphony after he had completely lost his hearing.

Barry Blitt's illustrations lift the story to a new level. We first see Beethoven as a baby crying in Gothic letters, "wha wha wha WHA." He accurately and humorously depicts the difficulties and incredible logistics involved in moving pianos to the new apartments, over rooftops, through windows and through walls. The composer's effect on his neighbors is depicted in a cross-section where we see the neighbors living above, below and next door to him reacting to the noise coming from his apartment in the middle. Babies cry, dogs bark and people pound on the floor, ceiling and walls as Beethoven plays.

This book is a must have for music teachers, piano teachers and students of music. What a treat!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 Facts of Fun 9 Nov. 2006
By Kelly Herold - Published on
"The 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven" is one clever picture book. Jonah Winter structures the story in such a way that you only get the joke at the end. Barry Blitt's illustrations are drop-dead funny, with a cranky Beethoven juxtaposed with beautiful Viennese cityscapes on each page. (As you can tell from the cover illustration, Blitt's Beethoven looks just like the ubiquitous statuette of the great composer that glared down at you during weekly piano lessons.)

"The 39 Apartments of Ludwig von Beethoven" begins with three facts. The first of these is:

"FACT: Ludwig van Beethoven was born in the town of Bonn in the country of Germany in the year 1770."

We then learn that Beethoven composed on five legless pianos and "FACT: Ludwig van Beethoven lived in 39 different apartments--which is of course the subject of our story. (See book title.)"

Then the story begins. Beethoven's move from apartment to apartment is "documented" with complaints from neighbors, what he composed where, and details on how movers transported the five legless pianos. Here's a mover's lament:

"In the diary of one Anselm Schwartz, we find the following translated here into modern English: 'After this move, I'm out of here. That dude is WHACKED in the head! Yow...My back is, like, REALLY messed up!'"

After the first three FACTS of the book, there are only three to follow--two in the story of the moves: "FACT: It is very difficult to move a piano. FACT: It is even more difficult to move five pianos." These two FACTS are self-evident and are easily overlooked amongst the evidence of cotton balls with earwax found in neighbors' apartments.

It's only when you read the last FACT on the final page that you get the joke: "FACT: That's all we know of the 39 apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven." In other words, absolutely nothing--but a good story results nonetheless.

"The 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven" is a stunner of a picture book and definitely makes my 2006 favorites list. Read it aloud to a group just for the experience of watching kids get the joke. "The 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven" is highly recommended for children ages 5-10.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very different kind of story youngsters will relish. 10 Dec. 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
It's hard to easily categorize this: based on a little-known fact about Beethoven's habit of moving frequently, it offers up a fun story of how he not only moved, but moved all five of his pianos from place to place. The hilarious tale of and why he moved, followed by all those pianos, creates a very different kind of story youngsters will relish.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 Thumbs Up! 16 April 2008
By Reader Mom - Published on
This is such a creatively well-done book. The words and illustrations are top drawer. Through the mystery of moving 39 times five pianos, children learn the story of Beethoven. Winter's underhanded humor is shown throughout making it a joy to read. I guarantee my kids won't forget who he is and what he did. The author's note in the back gives a nice lesson after the fun. My kids were enthralled through the entire book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven's Life in Vienna 29 Mar. 2008
By Dr. Gwynne H. French - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I teach middle school music and use this book to introduce the video "Beethoven Lives Upstairs" to my students. The text and illustrations wonderfully depict for students some of the idiosyncracies of the great composer. Much of the same ideas are then shown in the video through the eyes of a boy their same age. This book is a wonderful addition to anyone, young or old, wanting to learn insights about Ludwig vanBeethoven.
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