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Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             






WHERE so great a man as Beethoven was content to send the majority of his works into the world without preface, it might well be that a mere biographer should follow his example. Yet I could not rest happy were my thanks to remain unspoken - thanks to friends for the loan of books; thanks for the permission to reproduce the Beethoven manuscript in the library of the Royal College of Music and for the music facilities I enjoyed there; thanks also to Mr. C. B. Oldman of the British Museum for reading and revising my Beethoven Bibliography - which, indeed, had been already founded on his valuable bibliography in the Beethoven Centenary number of Music and Letters. To the editor of that periodical I owe the kindly permission to quote from some little known Beethoven letters, and acknowledgments are due to the Beethovenhaus Archivus for permission to reproduce some pictures and a page of the ‘Moonlight’ Sonata which are among the treasures at Bonn.

I would also like to express my thanks to the editor of this series for his consideration, patience, and many helpful kindnesses over the putting together of the book - indeed, he made the Calendar and Index - and for having allowed me such entire freedom to develop and express my own views. When I began the work, I sternly conditioned myself into re-studying Beethoven and his music afresh from the beginning, in a chronological order and correspondence. It was an enthralling experience. That I had to change some preconceived views during the progress of my mental journey only heightened the almost passionate absorption and excitement.

When writing I tried to select from the immense wealth of material such historic and aesthetic elements as might be interesting for all music-lovers, irrespective of whether they were professionals or amateurs; and where the technical aspects of Beethoven’s music were under discussion, I again endeavoured to choose the features which could be readily recognized by any one with some knowledge of music, not necessarily a theorist or musicologist.

Finally, it only remains to say that for the quotations from Beethoven’s letters, etc., I have sometimes used Shetlock’s translations, sometimes those in Thayer, Music and Letters, etc., and sometimes I have made my own.


LONDON, 1934



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