Beethoven’s Symphonies: A Guided Tour
(Amadeus Press), by John Bell Young
Concert pianist and critic John Bell Young sets out to describe and explain Beethoven's nine symphonies with minimal technical jargon. His Guided Tour largely succeeds. Young offers solid summations of the structure, emotional content and intellectual background of each symphony. He also touches on subjects as various as Beethoven's celebrity status, the role of conductors in interpreting the score, the political backdrop of Beethoven's Europe and the aesthetics of musical appreciation. Beethoven's Symphonies is a short, useful reminder of the importance of the classical tradition.