The connections between a great artists life and work are subtle, complex, and often highly revealing. In the case of Beethoven, however, the standard approach has been to treat his life and his art separately. Now, Barry Coopers new volume incorporates the latest international research on many aspects of the composers life and work and presents these in a truly integrated narrative. Cooper employs a strictly chronological approach that enables each work to be seen against the musical and biographical background from which it emerged. The result is a much closer confluence of life and work than is usually achieved, for two reasons. First, composition was Beethovens central preoccupation for most of his life: I live entirely in my music, he once wrote. Second, recent study of his many musical sketches has enabled a much clearer picture of his everyday compositional activity than was previously possible, leading to rich new insights into the interaction between his life and music. This volume concentrates on Beethovens artistic achievements both by examining the origins of his works and by expert commentary on some of their most striking and original features. It also reexamines virtually all the evidence--from fictitious anecdotes right down to the translations of individual German words--to avoid recycling old errors. And it offers numerous new details derived from sketch studies and a new edition of Beethovens correspondence. Offering a wealth of fresh conclusions and intertwining life and work in illuminating ways, Beethoven will establish itself as the reference on one of the worlds greatest composers.