BEETHOVEN: Life of an Artist, by Susan Lund is a modern look at Beethoven and his place in our world today. It follows the author’s discovery that Beethoven had a son. He fathered a child with a married woman and the child was brought up by the woman and her husband.
Over 200 years ago, while at the Bohemian spa of Teplitz, Beethoven wrote his Immortal Beloved letter.
Leading musical scholar Maynard Solomon later discovered that Antonie Brentano was Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved. Building on Solomon’s research Susan Lund discovered that Beethoven was the father of her sixth and last child, Karl Josef.
From Bohemia, Franz Brentano took his pregnant wife back to their home in Frankfurt. Beethoven returned alone to Vienna.
Karl Josef grew up a normal, healthy child, advanced, until the age of four when he was stricken with an illness which left him partially paralysed; with the mental age of a four year old.
Without Karl Josef, and his mother’s anguish over his spiritual development, would we have had the Missa Solemnis? Not even a Christian, let alone a Catholic, Beethoven might have written a Mass for the Archduke Rudolph’s inauguration; but it would not have been that Mass.
Aimed at the general reader as well as the academic, BEETHOVEN: Life of an Artist is an easy read, accurate and informative, containing new information about the composer’s life.
The book looks at the effect of biographical events upon his music, especially his last major works: the last piano sonatas; the Missa Solemnis and the Choral; and the late quartets. Changes in society are examined, from Beethoven’s time to ours, such as the social stigma of illegitimacy, marriage within class, and the indissolubility of marriage within the Catholic Church prevalent in Vienna in Beethoven’s lifetime.
Susan Lund is author of 12 books including ‘Raptus: A novel about Beethoven’, ‘Beethoven and the Catholic Brentanos’ and ‘Passion’. NEW BOOK: Beethoven: Life of an Artist by Susan Lund