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Home>Life of Beethoven>The Immortal Beloved Letters

Beethoven's Immortal Beloved Letters

The Origin of the Letters

In the summer of 1812, advised by his physician, Beethoven goes to the Czech resort, Teplitz. Even though the summer spent here didn’t have any positive influences on his state of health, it was very fruitful in memorable and interesting encounters. One of those encounters was the one between Beethoven and German poet Johann von Goethe. But the summer of 1812 is also important because it was the time when Beethoven wrote a set of mysterious letters that created numerous commentaries and assumptions among Beethoven scholars. The letters are known as “The Immortal Beloved Letters”
     While there are no certainties regarding the subject, there are a number of preferred candidates for the Immortal Beloved title.These are Giulieta Guicciardi, Thereza von Brunswick, Amalia Seebald and Antonie Brentano. All of these women are known to have been the object of Beethoven’s affection at one time or another. However, recent research has lead to the conclusion that the immortal beloved is almost certaintly the last of the candidates presented above, Antonie Brentano.
     The letters were found in his effects after his death.

The Letters

July 6, in the morning
      My angel, my all, my very self - Only a few words today and at that with pencil (with yours) - Not till tomorrow will my lodgings be definitely determined upon - what a useless waste of time - Why this deep sorrow when necessity speaks - can our love endure except through sacrifices, through not demanding everything from one another; can you change the fact that you are not wholly mine, I not wholly thine - Oh God, look out into the beauties of nature and comfort your heart with that which must be - Love demands everything and that very justly - thus it is to me with you, and to your with me. But you forget so easily that I must live for me and for you; if we were wholly united you would feel the pain of it as little as I - My journey was a fearful one; I did not reach here until 4 o'clock yesterday morning. Lacking horses the post-coach chose another route, but what an awful one; at the stage before the last I was warned not to travel at night; I was made fearful of a forest, but that only made me the more eager - and I was wrong. The coach must needs break down on the wretched road, a bottomless mud road. Without such postilions as I had with me I should have remained stuck in the road. Esterhazy, traveling the usual road here, had the same fate with eight horses that I had with four - Yet I got some pleasure out of it, as I always do when I successfully overcome difficulties - Now a quick change to things internal from things external. We shall surely see each other soon; moreover, today I cannot share with you the thoughts I have had during these last few days touching my own life - If our hearts were always close together, I would have none of these. My heart is full of so many things to say to you - ah - there are moments when I feel that speech amounts to nothing at all - Cheer up - remain my true, my only treasure, my all as I am yours. The gods must send us the rest, what for us must and shall be -
Your faithful LUDWIG

Evening, Monday, July 6
      You are suffering, my dearest creature - only now have I learned that letters must be posted very early in the morning on Mondays to Thursdays - the only days on which the mail-coach goes from here to K. - You are suffering - Ah, wherever I am, there you are also - I will arrange it with you and me that I can live with you. What a life!!! thus!!! without you - pursued by the goodness of mankind hither and thither - which I as little want to deserve as I deserve it - Humility of man towards man - it pains me - and when I consider myself in relation to the universe, what am I and what is He - whom we call the greatest - and yet - herein lies the divine in man - I weep when I reflect that you will probably not receive the first report from me until Saturday - Much as you love me - I love you more - But do not ever conceal yourself from me - good night - As I am taking the baths I must go to bed - Oh God - so near! so far! Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?

Good morning, on July 7
      Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I nedd a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once - Be calm, only by a clam consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
ever thine
ever mine
ever ours

 

Read more about Beethoven's Life

Best 5 Beethoven Books

  1. Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris; Eminent Lives (October 4, 2005).
  2. Beethoven by Maynard Solomon; Schirmer Books; 2nd Rev edition (September 1, 2001).
  3. Beetoven: The Music and the Life by Lewis Lockwood;W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (January 30, 2005).
  4. Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination by Maynard Solomon; University of California Press; 1 edition (October 4, 2004).
  5. Beethoven as I Knew Him by Anton Felix Schindler; Dover Publications; n.e.of "Beethoven as I Knew Him: A Biography" edition (September 3, 1996).
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  Best 5 Beethoven Books on Amazon

1. Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris;

2. Beethoven by Maynard Solomon;

3. Beetoven: The Music and the Life by Lewis Lockwood;

4. Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination by Maynard Solomon;

5. Beethoven as I Knew Him by Anton Felix Schindler;

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