The Significance of the Heiligenstadt Testament in Revealing Beethoven The Man

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music, Beethoven, Heiligenstadt testament, state of mind, anxiety and despair, music theory


Music | Music Pedagogy | Music Theory | Music Therapy


The Hiligenstadt Testament is a letter which was written by Beethoven to his two brothers, Karl and Johann, on October 6, 1802. This letter is significant (although it is only slightly over two pages in length) because it reveals more about Beethoven's frame of mind at a time of great crisis than any of his other letters. The "Testament" was found among his papers after his death in 1827, and was written on a large sheet of paper dated "Heiglnstadt [sic], October 6, 1802." The paper was folded and on the last page was addressed: "For my brothers Carl and , to be read and executed after my death." The entire "Testament" is quoted here according to Thayer's translation" [...]

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