Beethoven bestrides the history of music like no other. Without him it would have been a very different story. This biographical portrait reveals 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 mans music is more universal; few mens lives are more inspiring. Yet almost every work was the result of passionate struggle. In every sense but one his modest height he was a giant.