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Beethoven is one of the central figures in Western music and has influence and inspired musicians and artists from Chopin to Klimt. Beethoven's music was key in the transition from the Classical to the Romantic style, and John Deathridge brings together key elements of Beethoven's life with details about each of his works to give the reader a more rewarding listening experience. Deathridge also provides suggestions for specific recordings and an analysis of popular biographies, myths, novels, movies and the overall cultural impact of Beethoven since his death in 1827.