Thomas Beecham
Title Details

432 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Imprint: Boydell Press

Thomas Beecham

An Obsession with Music

by John Lucas

  • Description
  • Reviews
Now available in paperback to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death, this biography corrects many of the myths surrounding the often controversial Thomas Beecham.
Thomas Beecham was one of Britain's greatest conductors of orchestral music and opera as well as an entrepreneur and impresario of exceptional energy and brilliant wit. This acclaimed biography places him - musically, politicallyand socially - in the troubled times in which he lived and corrects the stories and myths, many of them Beecham's own making, that have grown up around this uniquely gifted and controversial figure.
Drawing upon extensive research, Lucas presents new material on his early years, his complicated private life, his father's catastrophic attempt to buy a large part of Covent Garden - which brought the family to its knees financially - and the orchestras andopera companies that Beecham founded. New light is shed on his visits to Nazi Germany and his view of its leaders, as well as the much misunderstood and previously unchronicled years of the Second World War, which he spent in Australia and America.
Thomas Beecham: An Obsession with Music will remain the standard biography for years to come.
JOHN LUCAS was on the staff of the Observer for 25 years, completed Peter Heyworth's monumentalbiography of Otto Klemperer, wrote Genius of Valhalla, the biography of Reginald Goodall, and is responsible for the current entries on Beecham and Klemperer in the New Grove .
"This book [...] is a must." THE DELIAN
"This marvellous book is very readable with many anecdotes and witty asides, much like Beecham himself. [...] Lucas's formidable amount of research is impressive [...] Reprinted in paperback for the 50th anniversary of Beecham's death, this book is excellent value for money." STRINGENDO
"This is the best biography of a musician I have read for a very long time...one which all genuine music lovers should possess. International Record Review" .
"Beecham's insensitivities...have to be seen in the context of his kindnesses, which were numerous and generous. Lucas holds the two in balance, which is an asset of his enthralling book." Glasgow] Herald, Conrad Wilson
"John Lucas's brimming biography...reminds us just how much...we owe him." Sunday Times, David Cairns
"Lucas has excelled himself: this is in every way a magnificent achievement...the wit, exuberance and professionalism of his subject come across wonderfully well. Classic FM Magazine [Book of the Month, 5 Stars]" .
"Impeccably researched...Lucas is excellent on the visits to Australia and America. Spectator" .
"[Beecham's] rackety private life makes for many an entertaining page in... [this] thorough study of a man who changed the face of British music for ever." David Mellor, Mail on Sunday
"Not only a very good biography, it is, in the circumstances, an extraordinarily concise one." Richard Osborne, The Oldie
"[Beecham] meets his match in his engaging and erudite biographer. Opera" .
"Lucas' thorough, exhaustive and often highly amusing biography will...re-establish Beecham as one of the foremost musical personalities of the last hundred years. Classical Music" .
"Remarkably thorough...A good read...and a solidly informative biography. BBC Music Magazine" .
"Lucas [expands upon Beecham's international reputation] with the sort of balanced judgments and care for detail that bring fresh perspective. Financial Times " .
"A quite spectacular biography. This England " .
"A fully comprehensive chronicle of...an extraordinary life...in a wealth of mesmerising detail, whole swathes of which have previously been completely unknown. Classic Record Collector" .

Paperback

9781843836261

February 2011

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$29.95 / £17.99

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Ebook (EPUB)

9781782043997

July 2009

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£17.99 / $24.99

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Title Details

432 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Imprint: Boydell Press