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Beethoven Love Letter

Posted by Suz King on November 7, 2009 at 11:54 AM



Background

After Beethoven's death in March 1827 two documents were discovered in his desk. These were the Heiligenstadt Testamentand the love letters shown above. The passionate feelings manifested inthese letters where addressed to a person unknown. Many have speculatedover whom might be the recipient, made more difficult by the fact thatthere is no year or place given on the letters. But Solomon, followingBeethoven's date on the letters, his movement during the period (1812)and studying the persons close to Beethoven, has come to the solutionthat Antoine Brentano must be the answer, now generally accepted asbeing correct.



The First Letter   July 6, in the morning

My angel, my all, my very self - Only a few words today and at thatwith pencil (with yours) -

Not till tomorrow will my lodgings bedefinitely determined upon -

what a useless waste of time -

Why thisdeep sorrow when necessity speaks -

can our love endure except throughsacrifices, through not demanding everything from one another; can youchange the fact that you are not wholly mine, I not wholly thine -

OhGod, look out into the beauties of nature and comfort your heart withthat 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 soeasily that I must live for me and for you; if we were whollyunited you would feel the pain of it as little as I -

My journey was afearful one; I did not reach here until 4 o'clock yesterday morning.

Lacking horses the post-coach chose another route, but what an awfulone; at the stage before the last I was warned not to travel at night;Iwas 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 bottomlessmud road. Without such postilions as I had with me I should haveremained stuck in the road.

Esterhazy, traveling the usual road here,had the samefate with eight horses that I had with four - Yet I got some pleasureout of it, as I always do when I successfully overcome difficulties -Nowa quick change to things internal from things external.

We shall surelysee each other soon; moreover, today I cannot share with you thethoughtsI have had during these last few days touching my own life -

If ourhearts were always close together, I would have none of these. My heartis fullof so many things to say to you

- ah - there are moments when I feelthat speech amounts to nothing at all -

Cheer up - remain my true, myonlytreasure, my all as I am yours.

The gods must send us the rest, whatfor us must and shall be -


Your faithful LUDWIG.



 

The Second Letter   Evening, Monday, July 6

You are suffering, my dearest creature -

only now have I learned thatletters must be posted very early in the morning on Mondays toThursdays -

theonly days on which the mail-coach goes from here to K. -

You aresuffering -

Ah, wherever I am, there you are also -

I will arrange itwith youand me that I can live with you.

What a life!!! thus!!! without you -

pursued by the goodness of mankind hither and thither -

which I aslittle want todeserve 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 andwhat is He - whom we call the greatest -

and yet - herein lies thedivine in man -

I weep when I reflect that you will probably notreceive thefirst 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 Iam taking the baths I must go to bed -

Oh God -

so near! so far!

Is notour love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault ofheaven?




The Third Letter   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 fatewill hear us -

I can live only wholly with you or not at all -

Yes, Iam resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to yourarmsand say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soulenwrapped in you into the land of spirits -

Yes, unhappily it must beso -

You willbe the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one elsecan ever possess my heart -

never -

never -

Oh God, why must one bepartedfrom 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 need a steady, quiet life -

can that be so in our connection?My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day -

thereforeI must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once -

Becalm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve ourpurposeto live together -

Be calm-

love me -

today -

yesterday -

what tearfullongings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell.

Oh continueto love me -

never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.

ever thine

ever mine

ever ours



 


 

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