Above: Kaertnertor Theater & Beethoven's birthplace before and after bombing (click on images)
Beethoven often disregarded prescribed 18th-century protocol, in his personal life as well as in his music. It is said that he
once returned to a ballroom still buttoning up his trousers after urinating.
Ludwig van Beethoven ~ Allied Bombing Of The Beethoven House
The day after his death, letters were found addressed to Beethoven's "immortal beloved" inside a
drawer in a secret compartment along with other documents, valuables and a picture of Tereza
Brunswick. Nobody knows exactly who his beloved was, even today. It may have been addressed to
Tereza, but there were at least four other possible candidates.
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 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 - 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
His Immortal Beloveds
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn on December 16, 1770. His mother was a maid and his
reportedly ill-tempered and often intoxicated father, Johann Beethoven, was a tenor in the choir of
Maximilian Friedrich, the Elector of Cologne. Ludwig was introduced to the piano at four years old
and by eight he was performing. His formal education ended at age eleven, although he later attended
classes at the University of Bonn where he enjoyed the beer gardens. His father enjoyed beer as well,
and by 1789 Ludwig had to take over as head of household and support his younger brothers.  He
gave piano lessons and played the harpsichord, viola, and organ in Elector Maximilian Friedrich's
orchestra. When Haydn happened to stop in Bonn and heard Beethoven play a cantata he had
composed for him, he encouraged the Elector to pay young Beethoven's expenses to Vienna. Here,
Ludwig flourished. He met and impressed Mozart, and by the mid-1790s, he was the most popular
pianist in Vienna and he was giving successful performances in Prague and Berlin as well.

After his initial enthusiasm for Napoleon, Beethoven was later outraged when Napoleon crowned
himself emperor and unleashed his Grand Army across Europe. On November 13th, 1805, Vienna
was invaded by 15,000 French soldiers who plunged the city under military rule and plundered food
and valuables, occupied private homes and committed outrageous acts while demanding a huge
tribute from the Viennese people to pay the cost! The resultant inflation, food shortages and
deprivation was enormous and impacted Beethoven along with everybody else.

Beethoven's personal life was a mess, and he was slovenly, nasty and miserable to deal with. He had
a notoriously violent temper and was said to act like a wild man on occasion. His piano playing was
so strong that he snapped the strings and splintered the hammers of his Viennese pianos. Beethoven
was an introspective man and an avid walker. He never married nor had children, and he suffered
from a variety of health problems. Between 1803 and 1812, he was steadily losing his hearing, yet
during this same time, he created one masterpiece after another. He was once described by a Dr. W.
Christian Muller in 1820: “Everything about his appearance is powerful, much of it coarse, like the
raw-boned structure of his face, with a high, broad forehead, a short, angular nose, with hair standing
up and divided into thick locks. But he is blessed with a delicate mouth and with beautiful, eloquent
eyes which reflect at every moment his quickly changing ideas and feelings.”
Beethoven's most famous work is his D minor Ninth Symphony, inspired by Schiller's poem “An die
Freude” (“Ode to Joy”) (inserted audio). He dedicated it to Prussian king, König Friedrich Wilhelm
III. von Preußen, and it is now the European Union's Anthem. The first performance was on May 7,
1824 at the Kaertnertor Theater.

When Beethoven lifted his baton, it is said that he stood in front of the conductor's stand and rolled
back and forth like a madman, stretching to his full height, then crouching down to the floor where he
flailed about with his hands and feet. He was completely deaf at this point.

After the performance, which was interrupted several times by applause, the mezzo soprano had to
tug on the distracted master's sleeve so that he would turn around and acknowledge the cheering
audience. On March 26, 1827, a severely ill Beethoven went into a coma, and during a violent
thunderstorm he opened his eyes momentarily, raised up his right hand toward the sky with a
clenched fist, and died. Over 20,000 people lined the streets for his funeral three days later.