As the title implies this two volume box set provides a comprehensive guide to Beethoven's music. It is biographical only in as far as the events of Beethoven's life impinge upon his creative output.
The approach to Beethoven's music is somewhat novel since these books attempt to treat the works of Beethoven in the order in which they were written, as far as it is possible to establish such a chronology. The books in this way charts Beethoven's creative development as it is expressed in the continuity of his output, and this method often reveals connections between works not usually associated with one another. There are full discussions of all the major works as well as of those which are rarely heard. Beethoven's attitudes towards structure and key relationships are fully covered as well as his handling of instruments and voices. These books also includes considered judgements on the quality of the music. These books are intended for the serious music student as well as for the amateur who wishes to know more about this perennially fascinating subject.