BEETHOVEN LIVES UPSTAIRS by Barbara Nichol

BEETHOVEN LIVES UPSTAIRS

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An animated portrait of the composer during the period when he wrote the Ninth Symphony (1822-25), as depicted in letters between Christoph, ten when the great man moves into his home, and his uncle, a musician whose knowledge of Beethoven's history and work provides a setting for the boy's more intimate observations. Aging and deaf, Beethoven is not only irascible and tempestuous; he's also wildly untidy and so loud that Christoph wonders if he's mad: ``...poundings and howlings come through the floor...like the sounds of an injured beast.'' Moreover, ``...it is not true that Mr. Beethoven has three pianos. He has four!''- -some with no legs so that he (and his suffering neighbors) can better sense the vibrations. Still, in the end, Christoph is won over, as readers are sure to be by the immediacy of his account. Cameron's luminous paintings have a formal 19th-century look, but not at the expense of a splendidly lively rendering of character and incident. A delightful introduction to this monumental figure. It would have been nice to have a note distinguishing fact from fiction. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-531-06828-5
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1994




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