- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: June 2015
- Print publication year: 2014
- Online ISBN: 9781139940474
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139940474
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) was a prolific letter writer. Often written in great haste - he regularly signed off 'in der Eile' - his correspondence allows us to follow his anxieties and preoccupations. From his first letter, written at the age of thirteen, wherein he declared his lifelong commitment to the craft of music, through the poignant 'Heiligenstadt Testament', up to the final codicil to his will, these documents reveal the human figure behind some of the greatest music ever written. In this two-volume English translation of 1909, John South Shedlock (1843–1919) retains as far as possible the idiosyncratic and error-ridden texts as written by the great composer. Volume 1 covers the years to 1816, and includes the heartbreaking unsent 1802 letter to his brothers in which Beethoven reveals his misery over his increasing deafness and his determination to overcome his physical and emotional weaknesses.
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