Beethoven in Love;
Concerto Quasi Una Fantasia
A daring, compelling, and impeccably researched historical novel that offers dramatic new insight into the life of the greatest composer the world has ever known. Its fresh perspective and deeply felt understanding of Beethoven's motivations, passions, and challenges speak eloquently to us today, connecting us to our own successes, failures, and dreams, and ultimately to the true consequence of our lives.
At the moment of his death on a snowy afternoon in March, 1827, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many
failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life. As he struggles to confront its ugliness, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.
Wonderfully inventive, rich with historical depth, broad humor, intricate wordplay, and the author's great gift for telling a sweeping and compelling tale, this is a novel to savor, become lost in, and deeply enjoy.
A tour de force, brilliantly conceived and executed. Howard Jay Smith’s Beethoven in Love; Opus 139 is wildly inventive, yet steeped in historical accuracy, a Beethoven novel worthy of the genius himself. It’s a novel about the ways in which each of us must come to terms with the meaning of our own lives . . . a must-read for Beethoven aficionados and for all readers who love the bold and immensely creative power of language.
Russell Martin, author of Beethoven's Hair, Picasso's War, and Out of Silence
Do we really need another book about Beethoven? A resounding ‘Yes!’ if it is Howard Jay Smith’s , Beethoven in Love; Opus 139. Smith’s novel abandons the assumed and fabricated ‘truths’ of the Beethoven life.. This is a Beethoven of the imagination: irascible, argumentative, difficult, and yet passionate and tender. Smith treats Beethoven like the human he was, augments the faults, diminishes the virtues, and the resultant humanity only serves to create an even larger larger-than-life hero.
Douglas Dutton, Professor of Music, LACC, SMC, The Colburn School
of Performing Arts Los Angeles, CA, formerly owner of Dutton's Books
Beethoven in Love; Opus 139 is a great pleasure, and a beguiling fictional interpretation of the tragedies and extraordinary accomplishments of one of the greatest composers in history, a novel that reminds us of Beethoven’s true genius—and his humanity.
Nir Kabaretti, Conductor and Artistic Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony
Beethoven in Love; Opus 139 is a welcome addition to the myriad poems, novels, short stories, and dramas inspired by the composer and his music. The novel’s portrayal of Beethoven as he reflects on life, comes to terms with imminent death, and longs for one day of pure joy is a captivating blend of biography, history, philosophy, music, and fantasy. The author’s imaginative approach encourages the reader to take a fresh look at Beethoven the man and discover new significance in his music.
Donna Beckage, Ph.D., author of “Beethoven in Literature”