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For many people, Beethoven is the greatest composer who ever lived. In this portrait-in-sound, actors’ readings combine with his music to reveal a titanic personality, both vulnerable and belligerent, comic and tragic, and above all heroic, as he comes to grips with perhaps the greatest disability a musician can suffer. No man’s music is more universal, few men’s lives are more inspiring. In every sense but one – his modest height – he was a giant. The great bonus of this audio-biography is that the development of Beethoven’s music can be heard in the context of his life. What did he write in those early, ambitious years when he was at the peak of his musical powers? What did he write when beset with anxiety over his failing hearing? And what was the music that insisted on pouring out of him, even though he couldn’t hear it himself? Jeremy Siepmann draws us into the private world of Ludwig van Beethoven, with the composer portrayed with rugged vividness by Bob Peck.