Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Beethoven’s writings are all written in a familiar register. The Heiligenstadt Testament (Heiligenstädter Testament) of 6 October 1802, was intended for his two brothers; the famous Letter to the Immortal Beloved (Brief an die unsterbliche Geliebte) of 6 and 7 July 1812 is addressed to a woman whose identity is today still uncertain; the whole of his correspondence, his 1570 Letters (Briefe) cover a period of forty years from 1787 to 1827, the year of Beethoven’s death, and is written to his friends, relatives, and editors; the Conversation Books (Konversationshefte) are an ensemble of manuscripts that the composer read when his friends wanted to talk to him after he had become completely deaf during the last years of his life, from 1819 to 1827; and finally, his Tagebuch (published in French under the title Carnets intimes) is an anthology of writings that he addressed to himself from 1804 onward. This is all that remains in the composer’s hand. There are no theoretical treatises, no writings destined for publication (with the exception of a brief declaration on Maelzel’s metronome). Beethoven didn’t care about being read. When he had something to say, it was in music.

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firstnameLudwig van
birth year1770
death year1827

Publications (1)