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Beethoven's Hair: An Extraordinary…
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Beethoven's Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odessey and a… (edição: 2000)

de Russell Martin

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5531532,543 (3.61)5
The basis for the movie of the same name, an astonishing tale of one lock of hair and its amazing travels--from nineteenth-century Vienna to twenty-first-century America. When Ludwig van Beethoven lay dying in 1827, a young musician named Ferdinand Hiller came to pay his respects to the great composer, snipping a lock of Beethoven's hair as a keepsake--as was custom at the time--in the process. For a century, the lock of hair was a treasured Hiller family relic, until it somehow found its way to the town of Gilleleje, in Nazi-occupied Denmark. There, it was given to a local doctor, Kay Fremming, who was deeply involved in the effort to help save hundreds of hunted and frightened Jews. After Fremming's death, his daughter assumed ownership of the lock, and eventually consigned it for sale at Sotheby's, where two American Beethoven enthusiasts, Ira Brilliant and Che Guevara, purchased it in 1994. Subsequently, they and others instituted a series of complex forensic tests in the hope of finding the probable causes of the composer's chronically bad health, his deafness, and the final demise that Ferdinand Hiller had witnessed all those years ago. The results, revealed for the first time here, are the most compelling explanation yet offered for why one of the foremost musicians the world has ever known was forced to spend much of his life in silence. In Beethoven's Hair, Russell Martin has created a rich historical treasure hunt, a tale of false leads, amazing breakthroughs, and incredible revelations. This unique and fascinating book is a moving testament to the power of music, the lure of relics, the heroism of the Resistance movement, and the brilliance of molecular science.… (mais)
Membro:piano3646
Título:Beethoven's Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odessey and a Scientific Mystery Solved
Autores:Russell Martin
Informação:Random House (2000), Hardcover, 288 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Read, 2009 (inactive), Own
Avaliação:*
Etiquetas:music

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Beethoven's Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odyssey and a Scientific Mystery Solved de Russell Martin

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Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I just have to re-read this! I remember it the first time, with all the myriad details and events and even the revelation of anti-Semitism burgeoning during the early 1800's.

The journey this hair made, the personal recollections that Hiller brings to Beethoven's demeanor and character, are just extraordinary. I grew up with a father who was in awe of Beethoven's ability and majesty, and that certainly rubbed off on me. I had forgotten how long it took the French musical community, my beloved French Romantics, to embrace his music as acceptable.

If one is a fan of whodunits, of what a detective does on the streets, even if you're not musically inclined, I would highly recommend this book. Or someone who is interested in the Holocaust; there is a bit of unknown history woven into the story of this lock of hair.

And of course, those of us who love Beethoven and his music will refer to it many, many times.. ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
While the basic information about Beethoven, his life, his music, and his hair is fairly interesting, the author indulges in a style derived from the breathless faux-suspense of the tv expose-artists (think Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone's Tomb), thus reducing what could have been a useful monograph into a padded and ultimately boring docu-drama. ( )
1 vote librisissimo | Mar 19, 2016 |
I'm a musician, and I love Beethoven. But I also love good writing.

There are enough facts on record regarding the author's subject--and he knows this; he's included them in the book--to avoid having to make any wild suppositions about the lives of his real-life characters. It's bothering me no end.

I'm also irritated by the complete lack of chronology here. It's a non-fiction book purporting to follow the life of a lock of hair; I don't mind a bit of jumping around, but I find myself irritated when within just one chapter, we're bouncing from an event at the end of the year, back to the middle of the year, leading into an explanation of the event that started the chapter. Actually, I rescind that. In some books, that works quite well. It's just that this author has trouble with his transitions, and it all seems like a disjointed mess. ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
But the real story, as author Russell Martin attempts to explain in this book, is how did the lock end up on the auction block? More important, can we learn anything from a 175-year-old snippet of hair? Somehow, author Russell Martin attempts to weave biographical information about Beethoven's life with scientific findings about his hair (the two buyers had the lock DNA-tested), as well as trace the path the hair took, from the great composer's head right into the present.
  Alice.rivera56 | Jun 11, 2012 |
This was our book group selection for this month. Parts of it were fascinating; other parts not quite so. It is part Beethoven biography and part the story of the relic of his hair, and the book bounces between the two a bit unsuccessfully. ( )
1 vote gbelik | Jan 26, 2012 |
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Beethoven's hair, sheltered for nearly two centuries inside a glass locket, was about to become the subject of rapt attention on a warm December morning in 1995.
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The basis for the movie of the same name, an astonishing tale of one lock of hair and its amazing travels--from nineteenth-century Vienna to twenty-first-century America. When Ludwig van Beethoven lay dying in 1827, a young musician named Ferdinand Hiller came to pay his respects to the great composer, snipping a lock of Beethoven's hair as a keepsake--as was custom at the time--in the process. For a century, the lock of hair was a treasured Hiller family relic, until it somehow found its way to the town of Gilleleje, in Nazi-occupied Denmark. There, it was given to a local doctor, Kay Fremming, who was deeply involved in the effort to help save hundreds of hunted and frightened Jews. After Fremming's death, his daughter assumed ownership of the lock, and eventually consigned it for sale at Sotheby's, where two American Beethoven enthusiasts, Ira Brilliant and Che Guevara, purchased it in 1994. Subsequently, they and others instituted a series of complex forensic tests in the hope of finding the probable causes of the composer's chronically bad health, his deafness, and the final demise that Ferdinand Hiller had witnessed all those years ago. The results, revealed for the first time here, are the most compelling explanation yet offered for why one of the foremost musicians the world has ever known was forced to spend much of his life in silence. In Beethoven's Hair, Russell Martin has created a rich historical treasure hunt, a tale of false leads, amazing breakthroughs, and incredible revelations. This unique and fascinating book is a moving testament to the power of music, the lure of relics, the heroism of the Resistance movement, and the brilliance of molecular science.

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