Thomas Beecham: An Obsession with Music

Thomas Beecham: An Obsession with Music

Hardback

By (author) John Lucas

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  • Publisher: The Boydell Press
  • Format: Hardback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 165mm x 234mm x 38mm | 839g
  • Publication date: 14 July 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Woodbridge
  • ISBN 10: 1843834022
  • ISBN 13: 9781843834021
  • Illustrations note: 40 black and white
  • Sales rank: 467,857

Product description

Thomas Beecham was one of Britain's greatest conductors of orchestral music and opera as well as an entrepreneur and impresario of exceptional energy and brilliant wit. This new life places him - musically, politically and socially - in the troubled times in which he lived and corrects the stories and myths, many of them Beecham's own making, that have grown up around this uniquely gifted and controversial figure. Drawing upon extensive research, Lucas presents new material on his early years, his complicated private life, his father's catastrophic attempt to buy a large part of Covent Garden - which brought the family to its knees financially - and the orchestras and opera companies that Beecham founded. New light is shed on his visits to Nazi Germany and his view of its leaders, as well as the much misunderstood and previously unchronicled years of the Second World War, which he spent in Australia and America. "Thomas Beecham: An Obsession with Music" will change the way we view this complex personality and remain the standard biography for years to come. John Lucas was on the staff of the "Observer" for 25 years, completed Peter Heyworth's monumental biography of Otto Klemperer, wrote the biography of Reginald Goodall, and is responsible for the current entries on Beecham and Klemperer on the New Grove. "Beecham in Rehearsal": 'This book will include a full-length CD of Beecham rehearsing the RPO. It features music by Haydn, Mozart, Handel, Liszt and a remarkable movement from Beethoven's 5th Symphony'.

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This is the best biography of a musician I have read for a very long time...one which all genuine music lovers should possess. International Record ReviewBeecham's insensitivities...have to be seen in the context of his kindnesses, which were numerous and generous. Lucas holds the two in balance, which is an asset of his enthralling book. (Glasgow) Herald, Conrad WilsonJohn Lucas's brimming biography...reminds us just how much...we owe him. Sunday Times, David CairnsLucas has excelled himself: this is in every way a magnificent achievement...the wit, exuberance and professionalism of his subject come across wonderfully well. Classic FM Magazine (Book of the Month, 5 Stars)Impeccably researched...Lucas is excellent on the visits to Australia and America. Spectator(Beecham's) rackety private life makes for many an entertaining page in... (this) thorough study of a man who changed the face of British music for ever. David Mellor, Mail on SundayEin faszinierendes Buch...unbedingt empfehlenswert. OrpheusNot only a very good biography, it is, in the circumstances, an extraordinarily concise one. The Oldie (Richard Osborne)(Beecham) meets his match in his engaging and erudite biographer. OperaLucas' thorough, exhaustive and often highly amusing biography will...re-establish Beecham as one of the foremost musical personalities of the last hundred years. Classical MusicRemarkably thorough...A good read...and a solidly informative biography. BBC Music MagazineLucas (expands upon Beecham's international reputation) with the sort of balanced judgments and care for detail that bring fresh perspective. Financial Times A quite spectacular biography. This England A fully comprehensive chronicle of...an extraordinary life...in a wealth of mesmerising detail, whole swathes of which have previously been completely unknown. Classic Record Collector (Lyndon Jenkins).A masterly combination of elegantly presented research and keen insight...a biography that is in every way worthy of him. Wagner JournalA detailed, well-written, and generous biography and it will stand for some time. Fanfare