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