New Books: Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven
The Yukio Onuma Collection

Autor: Yukio Onuma (Mitglied der Motivgruppe Musik e.V.)


164 pages
hardbound with dust jacket
in English and German
It is somewhat the exception to the rule when a thematic volume is published in the well-known Edition d’Or series. If published at all, it is always a collection that has in the long term received international FIP awards several times over. This is also the case with the collection of the Japanese Yukio Onama (born 1936), who enriches the subject of Beethoven in countless ways in an unusual philatelic “biography”. Both the book and the collection consist of five chapters. The first three are devoted to describing Beethoven’s life, the fourth describes events after Beethoven’s death, and composers who were influenced by him, and the last quotes what others have said about Beethoven.
The selected philatelic material testifies to the diversity and rarity, documented on the one hand by original material (from stamps to covers and postal stationery), but also by original images, colour trials and essays, printing errors and plate varieties, postmarks and special cancellations, telegrams and proofs, etc. In doing so, Onama generally avoids the issues of dubious countries, and only – as he says himself – considers those of “authentic”, that is, reputable states, and in doing so shows material that one would not, at first sight, regard as “suspect”, such as when one sees a Penny Black or a Hindenburg disaster cover. Unlike some others, his descriptions are clear, correct, short and concise. The focus is on the rare material and its relevance, with which he demonstrates the depth of his thematic research. The collection is a delight – not only for music lovers!
Wolfgang Maaßen (AIJP)