Beethoven's symphonies captured the public imagination from the outset and remain compelling today. Revolutionary in their time, these life-enhancing works now sit at the centre of the classical music repertoire, retaining their ability to delight and inspire. The career of Sir George Grove (1820-1900) ranged from civil engineering to biblical scholarship, but he is best known for editing his celebrated Dictionary of Music and Musicians. A driving force at the heart of nineteenth-century British musical life, Grove organised important concerts at the rebuilt Crystal Palace in Sydenham, and he served as the first director of the Royal College of Music from 1883 to 1894. First published in 1896, and reissued here in its swiftly corrected and indexed second edition, this work is a classic of musical analysis, exploring the composition, structure, performance and reception of each symphony in turn. Intended for 'the amateurs of this country', it represents the culmination of a lifetime's research.