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The Last Master: Passion And Pain: Volume Two of a Fictional Biography of Ludwig van Beethoven: Passion and Pain v. 2 [Paperback]

John Suchet
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Dec 1998 Last Master (Book 2)

Passion and Pain, the second volume of John Suchet's compelling trilogy about the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, depicts the composer at the height of his powers - yet all the time beset by his deafness, the great tragedy of his life.

Famous throughout Europe, championed by wealthy patrons, sought out by other musicians, Beethoven's triumphs and frustrations are shared with the reader as he composes and performs the towering works of the 'heroic period' - the 'Eroica' Symphony, the 'Emperor' Concerto, the Fifth and the 'Appassionata' Sonata - and as he struggles alone in the middle of the night to hear the great music he is creating.

We learn of the one great love of his life, his 'Eternally Beloved', meet the loyal friends who eased the suffering of the genius among them, encounter Johanna, the sister-in-law he despises, and witness the invasion of Vienna by French forces, as Beethoven seeks shelter from the shells in his brother's cellar. Written as a novel, though strictly in accordance with the known facts, Passion and Pain is a monumental narrative.

Frequently Bought Together

The Last Master: Passion And Pain: Volume Two of a Fictional Biography of Ludwig van Beethoven: Passion and Pain v. 2 + The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1 + Beethoven
Price For All Three: £48.46

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (3 Dec 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751526193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751526196
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Suchet is an award-winning British newsreader, television presenter, author and a morning radio show host on Classic FM. Most famous for being a newsreader for ITV News, John worked for the channel for 32 years, between 1972 and 2004. He retired from ITN in 2004, but made a welcome return to TV news in 2006, presenting Five News.

Product Description


Suchet's achievement is masterly, bringing Beethoven and the Vienna of his day convincingly to life (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

The heart-shaking story of genius and passionate loneliness is brilliantly researched and lovingly told (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

A finer piece of literature than the first book ... this is not for academics but for you and me and anyone moved by Beethoven's music, and will probably do more to further understanding of the composer than any professional paper (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

The overall effect is convincing. Beethoven's music is our soul, and here is a readable and sensitive account of how this music came about. (TLS)

Beethoven's raison d'etre- his compositions- come to life thanks to Suchet's passionate descriptons the first performances of some of Ludwig's great works. Ideally read while listening to some of the symphonies. (BELFAST TELEGAPH)

Book Description

* Second volume of magnificent fictional biography of Ludvig van Beethoven, arguably the greatest composer of all time.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant achievement 20 Dec 2002
By Raouly
To write a biography without having met the person is difficult enough. To write about a genius is that much harder. First what this book will not do for you. It will not draw you in by flowery writing. It will not make you cry with laughter due to the cleverness or wit of the author. And that is just about it. Now what it will do for you. It will thrill you to live within the mind of a genius. It will teach you more about his music then any other paper - speech - university course. I started this book (or three as they were then) and finished them in a week. The next time you go see the 9th you will either cry or rise shouting Beethoven's name. You will - you will - be a richer person for having read this book. My hearty congratulations to John Suchet and my eternal gratitude.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!! 26 Aug 2009
By C. Shaw
Having read the reviews by other readers about this trilogy I bought the first one, which I couldn't put down, and am nearly at the end of this, the 2nd one.. which I also can't put down!!
I've just ordered the 3rd one!!

They are a thoroughly gripping read, even if you're not particularly interested in Beethoven, but even more so if you are!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining - good read 1 April 1999
By A Customer
John Suchet has captured the essence of the character of Beethoven in this book. It is not meant as a biography but rather as a novel describing the kind of life Beethoven probably led. I found it superbly written and a great read from start to finish, The only drawback is that this book is the first of 3 with a seemingly endless period between publication of the next parts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase

John Suchet is a world renowned expert on Beethoven and these three volumes of biographical/novels go a long way to explaining why. He has used comprehensive, detailed and exhaustive research combined with his great skill as a writer to create the story of Beethoven's life and people his book with well-drawn characters, without whose help and sustained friendship, we would not have the musical masterpieces we have today. Central to his novels is, of course, Beethoven himself; Suchet admits that, at the outset, he did not like Beethoven but, after his initial research followed by the long task of writing the books, he grew to understand him more, respect and like him.
After hearing Beethoven's third symphony, Haydn remarked that music would "never be the same again"; after reading these volumes, the reader's view of Beethoven will never be the same again (and, because of the insights into the driven nature of his life, perhaps other geniuses and major artists too).
For the researcher and student of Beethoven, combining this reading with other scholarly studies, biographies and compendia, e.g. "Beethoven Compendium", "Beethoven - his Spiritual Development", "Classic FM" Guide to Beethoven" (also by John Suchet), one can see how detailed his research was and the clever ways in which he has used it to create this superb biographical/novel.
In his preface, he states that he cannot guarantee that all these events happened but that all of them could have happened. I recommend these three books very highly and other books by John Suchet. They are becoming harder to find, so buy them quickly.
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