Immortal Beloved

Acteurs: Jeroen Krabbé Gary Oldman Jeroen Krabbé Johanna ter Steege Isabella Rossellini
Artiest(en): Drama
Regisseur: Bernard Rose
  • 3
  • Engels
  • Dvd
  • 1 disk
  • 116:00 minuten
  • Regio 2 Tooltip 
  • Coast To Coast
  • december 2009

Immortal Beloved is een Amerikaanse film uit 1994 geregisseerd door Bernard Rose. De hoofdrollen worden vertolkt door Gary Oldman en Jeroen Krabbé. De film gaat over de nasleep rond de dood van de Duitse componist Ludwig van Beethoven.


Ludwig van Beethoven sterft in 1827 en zijn vriend Anton Felix Schindler staat in voor zijn laatste wil en testament. Hij ontdekt een liefdesbrief die Beethoven ooit geschreven heeft aan een onbekende geliefde die hij de “onsterfelijke geliefde” noemt. De zoektocht begint om uit te pluizen wie de geliefde juist was, maar het is niet gemakkelijk want Beethoven had veel vrouwen in zijn leven.


  • 91Poy0ZmnDL._SY445_Gary Oldman – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Jeroen Krabbé – Anton Felix Schindler
  • Isabella Rossellini – Anna Marie Erdödy
  • Johanna ter Steege – Johanna Reiss
  • Marco Hofschneider – Karl van Beethoven
  • Miriam Margolyes – Nanette Streicherová
  • Barry Humphries – Clemens Metternich
  • Valeria Golino – Giulietta Guicciardi
  • Gerard Horan – Nikolaus Johann van Beethoven
  • Christopher Fulford – Kaspar Anton Carl van Beethoven
Immortal Beloved
Regie Bernard Rose
Producent Bruce Davey
Stephen McEveety
Scenario Bernard Rose
Hoofdrollen Gary Oldman
Jeroen Krabbé
Isabella Rossellini
Johanna ter Steege
Marco Hofschneider
Muziek George Fenton
Montage Dan Rae
Cinematografie Peter Suschitzky
Distributie Columbia Pictures
Première 16 december 1994
Genre Biopic
Speelduur 120 min.
Taal Engels
Land Flag_of_the_United_States.svg Verenigde Staten
Opbrengst $ 10 miljoen





The genius behind the music. The madness behind the man. The untold love story of Ludwig von Beethoven.
Ellesco Coast To Coast



Jeroen Krabbé

Gary Oldman

Jeroen Krabbé

Johanna ter Steege

Isabella Rossellini




Bernard Rose


Dvd, 1 disk, speelduur 116:00 minuten
Achter de schermen;Biografie van Ludwig van Beethoven;Commentaar door regisseur Bernard Rose;Documentaire ‘Beloved Beethoven’;Filmografieën van regisseur Bernard Rose en acteurs Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini;Interviews met cast en regisseur;Meer dan 11 minuten aan Beethoven muziek door de menu’s heen
Taal orig. Versie
Overige talen
Duits, Frans
Dolby digital 5.1

Cijfers en feiten



Oorspronkelijke productie
Groot Britannië
01 december 2009


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 you 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 postcoach 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 the 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 – Thursdays – the only day on which the mail-coach goes from here to K. – You are suffering – Ah, wherever I am, you are with me – 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, not and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us – I can only live 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 lands 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[ienna] 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 out connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes everyday – therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the l[etter] at once. – Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve out 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 you beloved.

ever thine
ever mine
ever ours








Der Brief an die „Unsterbliche Geliebte“ Ludwig van Beethovens an eine ungenannte Frau hat zahlreiche Spekulationen ausgelöst, wozu das Fehlen von unzweifelhaften Anhaltspunkten über die Identität der Adressatin beitrug.

Im Folgenden wird der transkribierte Text dieses Briefes[1] wiedergegeben, wobei die angeführte Nummerierung zur Erleichterung nachfolgender Bezugnahmen dient.


Der erste Teil des Briefes

1.1 „am 6ten Juli Morgends.“

1.2 „Mein Engel, mein alles, mein Ich.“

1.3 „nur einige Worte heute, und zwar mit Bleystift (mit deinem)“

1.4 „erst bis morgen ist meine Wohnung sicher bestimmt, welcher Nichtswürdiger Zeitverderb in d.g.“

1.5 „warum dieser tiefe Gram, wo die Nothwendigkeit spricht.“

1.6 „Kann unsre Liebe anders bestehn als durch Aufopferungen, durch nicht alles verlangen, kannst du es ändern, daß du nicht ganz mein, ich nicht ganz dein bin.“

1.7 „Ach Gott blick in die schöne Natur und beruhige dein Gemüth über das müßende.“

1.8 „die Liebe fordert alles und ganz mit Recht, so ist es mir mit dir, dir mit mir.“

1.9 „nur vergißt du so leicht, daß ich für mich und für dich leben muß, wären wir ganz vereinigt, du würdest dieses schmerzliche eben so wenig als ich empfinden.“

1.10 „meine Reise war schrecklich ich kam erst Morgens 4 uhr gestern hier an, da es an Pferde mangelte, wählte die Post eine andre Reiseroute, aber welch schrecklicher Weg, auf der vorlezten Station warnte man mich bey nacht zu fahren, machte mich einen Wald fürchten, aber das Reizte mich nur – und ich hatte Unrecht, der Wagen muste bey dem schrecklichen Wege brechen, grundloß, bloßer Landweg, ohne 2 solche Postillione, wie ich hatte, wäre ich liegen geblieben Unterwegs.“

1.11 „Esterhazi hatte auf dem andern gewöhnlichen Wege hierhin dasselbe schicksaal, mit 8 Pferden, was ich mit vier.“

1.12 „Jedoch hatte ich zum Theil wieder vergnügen, wie immer, wenn ich was glücklich überstehe.“

1.13 „nun geschwind zum innern vom aüßern.“

1.14 „wir werden unß wohl bald sehn,“

1.15 „auch heute kann ich dir meine Bemerkungen nicht mittheilen, welche ich während dieser einigen Tage über mein Leben machte – wären unsre Herzen immer dichtan einander, ich machte wohl keine d.g.“

1.16 „die Brust ist voll dir viel zu sagen“

1.17 „Ach – Es gibt Momente, wo ich finde daß die sprache noch gar nichts ist“

1.18 „erheitre dich – bleibe mein Treuer einziger schaz, mein alles, wie ich dir;“

1.19 „das übrige müßen die Götter schicken, was für unß seyn muß und seyn soll.“

1.20 „dein treuer ludwig.“

Der zweite Teil des Briefes

2.1 „Abends Montags am 6ten Juli“

2.2 „Du leidest du mein theuerstes Wesen“

2.3 „eben jezt nehme ich wahr daß die Briefe in aller Frühe aufgegeben werden müßen. Montags – Donnerstags – die einzigen Täge wo die Post von hier nach K. geht.“

2.4 „du leidest.“

2.5 „Ach, wo ich bin, bist auch du mit mir, mit mir und dir rede ich mache daß ich mit dir leben kann“

2.6 „welches Leben!!!! so!!!! ohne dich“

2.7 „Verfolgt von der Güte der Menschen hier und da, die ich meyne – eben so wenig verdienen zu wollen, als sie zu verdienen.“

2.8 „Demuth des Menschen gegen den Menschen – sie schmerzt mich – und wenn ich mich im Zusammenhang des Universums betrachte, was bin ich und was ist der – den man den Größten nennt – und doch – ist wieder hierin das Göttliche des Menschen.“

2.9 „ich weine wenn ich denke daß du erst wahrscheinlich Sonnabends die erste Nachricht von mir erhältst.“

2.10 „wie du mich auch liebst – stärker liebe ich dich doch“

2.11 „doch nie verberge dich vor mir.“

2.12 „gute Nacht – als Badender muß ich schlafen gehen.“

2.13 „Ach gott – so nah! so weit!“

2.14 „ist es nicht ein wahres HimmelsGebaüde unsre Liebe – aber auch so fest, wie die Veste des Himmels.“

Der dritte Teil des Briefes

3.1 „guten Morgen am 7ten Juli“

3.2 „schon im Bette drängen sich die Ideen zu dir meine Unsterbliche Geliebte,“

3.3 „hier und da freudig, dann wieder traurig, vom Schicksaale abwartend, ob es unß erhört.“

3.4 „leben kann ich entweder nur ganz mit dir oder gar nicht,“

3.5 „ja ich habe beschlossen in der Ferne so lange herum zu irren, bis ich in deine Arme fliegen kann,“

3.6 „und mich ganz heymathlich bey dir nennen kann, meine Seele von dir umgeben in’s Reich der Geister schicken kann.“

3.7 „ja leider muß es seyn.“

3.8 „du wirst dich fassen um so mehr, da du meine Treue gegen dich kennst, nie eine andre kann mein Herz besizen, nie – nie.“

3.9 „O Gott warum sich entfernen müßen, was man so liebt, und doch ist mein Leben in V.[ien] so wie jezt ein kümmerliches Leben.“

3.10 „Deine Liebe macht mich zum glücklichsten und zum unglücklichsten zugleich.“

3.11 „in meinen Jahren jezt bedürfte ich einiger Einförmigkeit Gleichheit des Lebens – kann diese bey unserm Verhältniße bestehn?“

3.12 „Engel, eben erfahre ich, daß die Post alle Tage abgeht – und ich muß daher schließen, damit du den B.[rief] gleich erhältst“

3.13 „sey ruhig, nur durch Ruhiges beschauen unsres Daseyns können wir unsern Zweck zusammen zu leben erreichen“

3.14 „sey ruhig – liebe mich – heute – gestern.“

3.15 „Welche Sehnsucht mit Thränen nach dir“

3.16 „dir – dir – mein Leben – mein alles“

3.17 „leb wohl – o liebe mich fort – verken[ne] nie das treuste Herz deines Geliebten L.“

3.18 „ewig dein ewig mein ewig unß.“

Facsimile of the first page of the letter addressed to “Immortal Beloved”.

Zur Publikationsgeschichte

Der Brief wurde nach Beethovens Tod am 26. März 1827 in einer Schublade gefunden und von Anton Schindler an sich genommen. Er veröffentlichte ihn erstmals in seiner Beethoven-Biographie 1840, jedoch ließ er mehrere signifikante Phrasen und Sätze aus und modifizierte etliche andere.[2]

Zur Datierung

Da die Jahresangabe fehlte, wurde zunächst spekuliert, dass der Brief 1801 oder 1807 geschrieben wurde, da in diesen Jahren der 6. Juli auf einen Montag fiel. 1812 wurde erstmals von Unger (1909) und Thomas-San-Galli (1909) vorgeschlagen, zusammen mit Funden von Dokumenten über Beethovens Aufenthalt in Böhmen um diese Zeit. Völlig zweifelsfrei ist das Jahr seit den Wasserzeichenuntersuchungen von Schmidt-Görg & Schmidt (1966).

Zur Ortsbestimmung

Unger (1909) und Thomas-San-Galli (1909) hatten auch die Kur- und Gästelisten durchgesehen und konnten dadurch beweisen, dass Beethoven am 5. Juli 1812 in Teplitz (Teplice) ankam. Vom 1. bis 4. Juli war er in Prag gewesen. Ein wichtiger Hinweis war auch Beethovens Hinweis auf Fürst Esterházy (1.11), der in der Tat nachweislich um dieselbe Zeit nach Teplitz kam.

Zur Zielortbestimmung

Wenig Beachtung fand in der Literatur bisher die Tatsache, dass Beethoven in seinem Brief dreimal die Frage der Zustellung seines Schreibens ansprach:

  • In 2.3 (d.h. am Montagabend) erwähnt er, dass die Post nach „K.“ montags und donnerstags früh abging. Über die Bedeutung von „K.“ ist ebenfalls spekuliert worden, solange der Absendeort nicht bekannt war. Heute besteht kein Zweifel mehr, dass damit Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) gemeint war, von Teplitz ca. 100 km entfernt, was damals von der Postkutsche in einem Tag erreicht wurde.
  • In 2.9 drückt Beethoven seine Sorge („ich weine“) darüber aus, dass die Adressatin seine Nachricht „erst wahrscheinlich Sonnabends“ erhalten würde. Da die Postkutsche von Teplitz schon am Donnerstagabend in Karlsbad ankam, muss der Zielort eine weitere Tagereise entfernt gewesen sein, vermutlich Eger (Cheb), der nächste größere Ort in westlicher Richtung, ca. 50 km entfernt. Franzensbad ist nochmals ca. 10 km weiter als Eger. Die wesentlichste Schlussfolgerung aus diesen logistischen Überlegungen ist, dass – nach Beethovens Ansicht – die Adressatin sich zur Zeit der beabsichtigen Absendung des Briefes zwei Tagereisen von Teplitz entfernt aufgehalten haben muss (zumindest „wahrscheinlich“, Beethoven war sich offensichtlich nicht sicher). Dies bedeutet auch, dass verschiedene Spekulationen, die irrtümlich davon ausgehen, die Adressatin müsse sich garantiert in Karlsbad aufgehalten haben, nicht fundiert sind. Im Gegenteil: Alle Frauen, die im Juli 1812 nachweislich in Karlsbad waren,[3] scheiden aus diesem Grunde allein schon aus.
  • In 3.12 (am Dienstagmorgen) erfuhr Beethoven seinen Irrtum und versprach, den Brief sofort loszuschicken, damit sie den Brief schnellstmöglich (immerhin zwei Tage später) erhalten würde. Die Tatsache, dass der Brief in Beethovens Besitz blieb, zeigt an, dass er höchstwahrscheinlich als unzustellbar zurückgeschickt wurde – wiederum ein Zeichen, dass die Adressatin nicht erreichbar war.

Weitere Textanalyse

Fassen wir die gesicherten Erkenntnisse zusammen, so sind dies die offensichtlichsten („externen“) Fakten:

(1) Der Brief wurde am 6. und 7. Juli 1812 in Teplitz geschrieben.

(2) Beethoven hatte sie höchstwahrscheinlich einige Tage vorher getroffen, eine Frau, die er nicht erwartet hatte: am 3. Juli 1812 abends, als er ein Treffen mit Varnhagen in Prag verpasste, wegen eines Umstandes, „den ich nicht vorhersehen konnte“.[4]

(3) Die Adressatin muss eine Frau gewesen sein, die Beethoven eine lange Zeit geliebt hatte, und sie hatte diese Liebe erwidert. In dem Brief bezeichnet er sich ausdrücklich als ihr „Geliebter“, versichert ihr wieder seine „Treue“ ihr gegenüber und fordert sie auf, ihm ebenso treu zu „bleiben“ (1.18, 3.8).

(4) Der Brief sollte an einen Ort zwei Tagereisen von Teplitz entfernt gesendet werden, über Karlsbad (einen Tag entfernt). Daher muss Beethoven erwartet haben, dass sie sich in einem solchen Ort befinden könnte (2.3, 2.9).

(5) Dass Beethoven den Brief behielt, war höchstwahrscheinlich durch den Umstand bedingt, dass die Adressatin sich nicht mehr dort aufhielt – entweder hatte er dies vorher erfahren oder der Brief wurde als unzustellbar zurückgesandt. Dies zeigt ebenso an, dass er nicht sicher war, wo sie sich aufhielt.

(6) „Wir werden unß wohl bald sehen“ (1.14) wurde oft falsch übersetzt als “No doubt we shall meet soon”.[5] Wie im vorhergehenden Punkt war der genaue Aufenthaltsort der Geliebten zu jener Zeit ungewiss, und es war alles andere als sicher, dass dieses Wiedersehen „bald“ erfolgen sollte.

(7) Aus dem Brief wird klar, dass die Geliebte (seit einiger Zeit) in Wien lebte (wie Beethoven).

(8) Beethoven hatte zu dieser Zeit Pläne, nach England zu gehen,[6] und diese Ankündigung in dem Brief zeigt, dass er erwartete, sie würde in Wien zurückbleiben (3.5).

(9) Die folgende Ermahnung impliziert, dass die Frau genau das in der Vergangenheit getan hatte und möglicherweise wieder tun könnte: „doch nie verberge dich vor mir“ (2.11).

Zur Adressatin

Aus den Punkten (1) und (2) folgt, dass die Adressatin nur eine Frau hätte sein können, die Anfang Juli 1812 in oder in der Nähe von Prag war. Von allen möglichen „Kandidatinnen“, die jemals vorgeschlagen wurden, können nur drei ernsthaft in Erwägung gezogen werden: Antonie Brentano, die vom 3. bis 4. Juli mit Ehemann, Kind und Diener in einem Hotel übernachtete und dann nach Karlsbad weiterreiste;[7] Josephine Brunsvik, die von ihrem Ehemann nach einer zunehmend katastrophalen Ehe (höchstwahrscheinlich) verlassen worden war und im Juni geplant hatte, nach Prag zu gehen;[8] und Marie Erdödy,[9] deren genauer Aufenthaltsort zu dieser Zeit unbekannt ist – sie weilte wohl in ihrer Sommerresidenz in Hernals (bei Wien), wo Beethoven sie im Oktober 1812 besuchte.

Antonie Brentano

ad (2): Beethoven wusste sehr wohl von der Anwesenheit der Brentanos, da er sie einige Tage vorher in Wien getroffen hatte, offensichtlich auch, um ihre Reisepläne zu erörtern.[10]

ad (3): Es gab allerhöchstens acht Monate – mehr oder weniger – „intimen“ Kontakts zwischen Beethoven und Antonie, und ihr Gatte war die meiste Zeit mit dabei. Diese Tatsache ist schwer mit dem Brief in Einklang zu bringen.

ad (4): Gerade weil Antonie in Karlsbad war[11] (einen Tag entfernt mit der Postkutsche) und Beethoven dies mit Sicherheit wusste (wie auch die Reisezeiten), so folgt daraus: Er hatte nicht Antonie gemeint.

ad (5): Diese Tatsache erfordert die Annahme, dass Antonie den Brief zurückgegeben haben muss – oder man muss davon ausgehen, dass er ihn von vornherein gar nicht abschicken wollte. Dies steht jedoch im Widerspruch zu seinen verzweifelten Bemühungen, die genauen Abfahrtszeiten der Postkutsche herauszufinden.

ad (6): Dies wiederum schließt Antonie aus, da es sicher war, dass Beethoven sie „bald“ wiedersehen würde (in Karlsbad, wie bereits vorher geplant).

ad (7): Seit ihrer Heirat 1798 war Antonie keine Wienerin mehr (sie wohnte in Frankfurt), und zur Zeit des Briefes war sie nur vorübergehend in Wien, da ihr Vater gestorben war.

ad (8): Antonie war diejenige, die einige Wochen später wegging (heim nach Frankfurt); seine Absicht, nach einiger Zeit des „In-der-Ferne-Herumirrens“ zu ihr zurückzukehren, erscheint unsinnig.

ad (9): Dies ist ebenfalls unsinnig in Bezug auf Antonie. Es ist kein einziger Fall bekannt, dass sie sich jemals vor Beethoven versteckt hätte, und diese Ermahnung in seinem Brief setzt ihre zukünftige Anwesenheit voraus.

Marie Erdödy

Sie wurde zuletzt von Gail Altman (1996) als eine mögliche „Unsterbliche Geliebte“ vorgeschlagen. Allerdings kann sie die meisten dieser Punkte nicht erfüllen, insbesondere:

ad (3): Obwohl (oder vielmehr gerade weil) Beethoven für einige Zeit im gleichen Haus wie Marie gelebt hatte und sie häufig traf und er ihr auch mehrere kurze Briefe schrieb, gibt es doch keine Anzeichen irgendeiner Art von „Herzensangelegenheit“ oder Ähnliches, das mit dem Ton des Briefes vereinbar ist.

ad (9): Wie Antonie hatte Marie keine Vorgeschichte, wo sie sich jemals versteckt hätte. Im Gegenteil: Abgesehen von der kurzen Zeitperiode, als sie einen Streit hatten und Beethoven auszog, stand sie ihm jederzeit zur Verfügung, sogar so sehr, dass er sie seinen „Beichtvater“[12] nannte.

Josephine Brunsvik

Es scheint, dass aus dem Brieftext allein schon folgt, dass sie alle diese Punkte erfüllt:

ad (2): Zwar gibt es keinen Nachweis von Josephines Anwesenheit in Prag oder sonst wo in Böhmen im Juli 1812, jedoch muss Josephine selbst ohne einen solchen Nachweis als die wahrscheinlichste Kandidatin betrachtet werden,[13] weil es überwältigende Argumente gibt, die alle anderen Kandidatinnen ausschließen. Inzwischen wurde ein Dokument entdeckt,[14] das Josephines klare Absicht, im Juni 1812 nach Prag zu reisen, beweist. Josephine am 3. Juli 1812 in Prag zu treffen, muss deshalb ein extrem unvorhersehbares Ereignis für Beethoven gewesen sein.

ad (3): Josephine war in der Tat eine Frau (die einzige), die Beethoven eine lange Zeit geliebt hatte, und sie hatte seine Liebe erwidert.[15]

ad (4): Josephine war wahrscheinlich in Franzensbad (zwei Tagesreisen mit der Postkutsche von Teplitz, über Karlsbad), und sie hatte bereits im Februar 1812 geplant, dorthin zu gehen.[16]

ad (5): Falls Beethoven den Brief aufgegeben hatte, musste er als unzustellbar zurückgekommen sein, da sie Franzensbad bereits verlassen hatte. Dies ist sehr wahrscheinlich, da der Kaiser am 5. Juli in Franzensbad war, aber am Tag darauf wieder abreiste.[17]

ad (6): Es war alles andere als sicher, sie wieder zu treffen.

ad (7): Josephine hatte seit 1799 (die meiste Zeit) in Wien gelebt.

ad (8): Josephine blieb in Wien (die meiste Zeit) bis zu ihrem Tod 1821.

ad (9): Josephine hatte genau das in der Vergangenheit getan und könnte es möglicherweise wieder tun: sich verstecken.

Somit deutet die Evidenz der „externen“ Fakten fast ausschließlich auf Josephine, weil Marie Erdödy sowieso eine unwahrscheinliche Kandidatin ist und mehrere Punkte – insbesondere (2), (4), (6) and (9) – Antonie eindeutig ausschließen. Selbst die Tatsache, dass sie am 3./4. Juli in Prag war, ist nicht ausreichend, die Vorstellung zu stützen, sie könnte ein Stelldichein mit Beethoven gehabt haben, nach einer beschwerlichen Reise von zwei Tagen und ihrer Abreise am nächsten Tag in der Morgendämmerung.


  1.  in Brandenburg (1996, Nr. 582).
  2.  Von Schindler (1840, S. 63–66) ausgelassen wurden u.a. 2.3 und 2.9 (zur Zielortbestimmung so bedeutsam), 3.12, 3.13, 3.14 und sogar 3.18: „ewig dein ewig mein ewig unß.“
  3. Beethoven wusste z.B., dass Antonie Brentano dort war (Solomon 1972, S. 572).
  4. Brief an Varnhagen vom 14. Juli 1812, in Brandenburg (1996, Nr. 583).
  5. Anderson (1961, Nr. 373).
  6. Brief von Oliva an Varnhagen (3. Juni 1812, in Brandenburg 1996, Nr. 578).
  7. Solomon (1972), von einigen amerikanischen Autoren unterstützt (wie Kinderman 1995, Lockwood 2003).
  8. Erstmals von La Mara (1920) vorgeschlagen, von Kaznelson (1954), Massin & Massin (1955, 1970), Ley (1957), Riezler (1962), Goldschmidt (1977/1980, 1988), Tellenbach (1983, 1987, 1988, 1993/1994, 1996, 1998, 1999), Beahrs (1986, 1988, 1993), Dahlhaus (1991), Pichler (1994), Noering (1995), Hornyák (1996), Stackelberg (2001), Steblin (2001, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2009a) und Caeyers (2012) unterstützt.
  9. Steichen (1959), Altman (1996).
  10. Solomon (1972, S. 572).
  11. Solomon (1972, S. 578).
  12. Schindler (1860, S. 248 f.).
  13. Massin & Massin (1955, S. 240).
  14. von Steblin (2007).
  15. Siehe die Liebesbriefe in Schmidt-Görg (1957 & 1969).
  16. Goldschmidt (1980, S. 236).
  17. „Der Gründer von Franzensbad, Kaiser Franz I., besuchte die Stadt … im Jahre 1812, als er seine Tochter Maria Luisa begleitete, die aus Dresden nach Paris zurückkehrte … Am Nachmittag des 5. Juli kamen sie in dem Badeort an, in einer Kutsche mit acht Pferden, um zu übernachten … am nächsten Morgen um halb sechs reisten die geschätzten Gäste wieder ab, der Kaiser nach Wien, Maria Luisa nach Paris.“ ([1].


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  • Klapproth, John E: Preuves et épreuves du mystère de «l’Immortelle Bien-Aimée»: de la liste du Schindler au lac de Walden. In: Beethoven, sa vie, son œuvre 2012a, S. 55–68.
  • Klapproth, John E: Joséphine Brunsvik: le seul Amour de Beethoven. In: Beethoven, sa vie, son œuvre 2012b, S. 69–74.
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  • Solomon, Maynard: New Light on Beethoven’s Letter to an Unknown Woman. In: The Musical Quarterly (1972), S. 572–587.
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  • Steblin, Rita: Josephine Gräfin Brunswick-Deyms Geheimnis enthüllt: Neue Ergebnisse zu ihrer Beziehung zu Beethoven. In: Österreichische Musikzeitschrift (2002), S. 23–31.
  • Steblin, Rita: „Auf diese Art mit A geht alles zugrunde.“ A New Look at Beethoven’s Diary Entry and the “Immortal Beloved”. In: Bonner Beethoven-Studien (2007), S. 147–180.
  • Steblin, Rita: “A dear, enchanting girl who loves me and whom I love”: New Facts about Beethoven’s Beloved Piano Pupil Julie Guicciardi. In: Bonner Beethoven-Studien (2009), S. 89–152.
  • Steblin, Rita: Beethovens „Unsterbliche Geliebte“: des Rätsels Lösung. In: Österreichische Musikzeitschrift (2009a), S. 4–17.
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  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth: Beethoven and the Countess Josephine Brunswick. In: The Beethoven Newsletter (1987), S. 41–51.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth: Künstler und Ständegesellschaft um 1800: die Rolle der Vormundschaftsgesetze in Beethovens Beziehung zu Josephine Gräfin Deym. In: Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte (1988), S. 253–263.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth: Beethoven e Josephine, contessa Brunswick: 1799–1821. In: Nuova rivista musicale italiana (1991), S. 355–374.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth: Psychoanalysis and the Historiocritical Method: On Maynard Solomon’s Image of Beethoven. Part 1. In: The Beethoven Newsletter (1993), S. 84–92.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth: Psychoanalysis and the Historiocritical Method: On Maynard Solomon’s Image of Beethoven. Part 2. In: The Beethoven Newsletter (1994), S. 119–127.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth: Noch eine Geliebte Beethovens gefunden – oder erfunden? Zu Klaus Martin Kopitz: „Sieben volle Monate“: Beethoven und Therese von Zandt. In: Musica (1996), S. 78–83.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth: Psychoanalyse und historisch-philologische Methode. Zu Maynard Solomons Beethoven- und Schubert-Deutungen. In: Analecta Musicologica (1998), S. 661–719.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth: Die Bedeutung des Adler-Gleichnisses in Beethovens Brief an Therese Gräfin Brunswick. Ein Beitrag zu seiner Biographie. In: Die Musikforschung (1999).
  • Thomas-San-Galli, Wolfgang A.: Die „unsterbliche Geliebte“ Beethovens, Amalie Sebald: Lösung eines vielumstrittenen Problems. Halle: Hendel 1909.
  • Unger, Max: Zum Problem von Beethovens „Unsterblicher Geliebten“. In: Musikalisches Wochenblatt [Neue Zeitschrift für Musik] (1909), S. 356–358.

Who is this Immortal Beloved? Whom did Beethoven love so passionately? Here is a question that has used up a lot of ink. And which continues to do so today: articles and books are still published on the subject…

It is certain that nothing will stop the researchers and scholars of this question.

It is quite astonishing to see how much thought and speculation the Immortal Beloved letter has provoked. The proposed possibilities as to the identity of this mystery woman are numerous, indeed too numerous for one man!

It is equally curious to see how the theorists are split into two clearly visible groups in their proposition of my Immortal Beloved: the English and the Americans, more in favor of Antonie Brentano, and the Germans, French and other Europeans, more in favor of Joséphine von Brunsvik.

In any case, if one day this great mystery were to be solved by an indisputable proof, would we find our appreciation of the works of Beethoven and of the man, himself changed?

With this in mind, the questions of certain researchers leave me wondering:

– Did he know one or many women, or did he not know any?

– Would he have seen a married woman, the wife of a good friend, or was he the virtuous type that some believe in?

– Could a child have been born from this union – could there not be, somewhere, the descendants of the great Beethoven who are ignorant of their origins?

Also, I am intrigued by the fact that this letter was found in Beethoven’s possession. Was it never sent? But, in this case, why not? Was it returned? And why did he keep it?

This question is taken further by Heiligenstadt’s theory: we are in the presence of a desperate man, who is writing his final testament, he thinks, to put an end to his days. In the end, he does not commit suicide (just as well for the sake of music), but he keeps this call of distress for 25 years, until his death, with the letter for his Immortal Beloved…

Beethoven has not finished astounding us, surprising us and enchanting us!

Ludwig van Beethoven remained celibate for all of his life.

The Immortal Beloved can be at ease, her secret is well kept…










Countess Giulietta GUICCIARDI (1784-1856).
Cousin of the Brunsvik sisters.
Beethoven’s student around 1801. He dedicated the ‘Moonlight Sonata’ to her. Momentarily in love with Beethoven, she had a portrait done for him which he kept all his life. But she married Count Robert von Gallenbergin in 1803 , who was wealthier than the composer.
Nevertheless, Schindler is mistaken in the date of the letter. It having been dated 1812, this idea is no longer plausible.
She was proposed as the possible Immortal Beloved by Anton SCHINDLER – 1840.
Amalie SEBALD (1787 – 1846).
Amalie was a singer, notably at Berlin. She met Beethoven at Teplitz in 1811 and 1812. They were very close, as proven by certain letters.
Theory by Edouard HERRIOT – 1932, equally proposed by W. A. Thomas San Galli – 1909.
Thérèse von BRUNSVIK (1775-1861).
The eldest sister of the Brunsvik family remained celibate. Less talented and less beautiful than Pépi, she “watched over” her…
Romain Rolland wrote that Thérèse loved Beethoven from 1806, and that they were engaged in that year. Beethoven had a portrait of Thérèse.
Proposed by Romain ROLLAND – 1928, re-proposed by other biographers – 1879.
Joséphine von BRUNSVICK (married DEYM), a.k.a. Pépi (1779 – 1821).
Beethoven was very close, from 1799, with all of the Brunswick family. Pépi became his student and was very talented. They were close friends.
In 1812, Joséphine had been widowed for 8 years, for the moment without children (because she confided them in her sister, Thérèse)… and she had a baby girl 9 months later, Minona. One automatically thinks… Not bad, for a man without official descendants!
Jean and Brigitte MASSIN – 1954, and numerous other biographers – 1920.
Antonie BRENTANO (née BIRKENSTOCK 1780 – 1869).
Wife of Franz von Brentano, senator at Francfort and Beethoven’s friend. Also the step-sister of Bettina Brentano, who organised the relationship bewteen Goethe and Beethoven.
Antonie was at Vienna between 1809 et 1812, with her husband. In 1812, she was with her husband at Karlsbad… She gave birth to a child practically 12 months after the letter… called Karl, as it happens!
Maynard SOLOMON (re-proposed by Barry COOPER) – 1977.
Countess Anna Marie ERDÖDY (née NICZKY 1779-1837).
Marie became almost paralysed after the birth of her first child.
She became close to Beethoven around 1803. Their bond grew sronger. He wrote to her as “liebe, liebe, liebe, liebe, liebe”, and he dedicated, to her, opus 70 (two trios) and opus 102 (two sonatas).
The Countess was a great friend to Beethoven, and he lived with her for some time in 1808. She was an excellent pianist and a great admirerer of Beethoven’s works. Some biographers think that she had great influence over Beethoven and over his music. Also, in 1809, she participated in the succesful search for rich patrons for the composer.
In 1812, she fell out with her husband.
Gail S. ALTMAN – 1996.
Countess Almerie ESTERHAZY (married MURRAY 1789 – 1848).
A young women of the Esterhazy family, (aristocrats from Almérie), born in France, re-opens this debate with her unexpected arrival on the scene.
A credited pianist, she had the advantage of coming from a family who were close to Beethoven and seems to have been at the right places at the right times. In the end she married a wealthy officer.
Jaroslav CELEDA – 1960, posthumous publication in 2001.
Bettina von Arnim (the Countess of Arnim) (4 April 1785 – 20 January 1859), born Elisabeth Catharina Ludovica Magdalena Brentano, was a German writer and novelist.

Bettina (as well: Bettine) Brentano was a writer, publisher, composer, singer, visual artist, an illustrator, patron of young talent, and a social activist. She was the archetype of the Romantic era’s zeitgeist and the crux of many creative relationships of canonical artistic figures. Best known for the company she kept, she numbered among her closest friends Goethe, Beethoven, and Pückler and tried to foster artistic agreement among them.

Baronin Therese von Droßdik, born Therese Malfatti (1 January 1792 – 27 April 1851), was an Austrian musician and a close friend of Ludwig van Beethoven. She is best known as one of the supposed dedicatees of Beethoven’s famous bagatelle, Für Elise, WoO 59.  H
Dorothea von Ertmann (born Dorothea Graumann, 3 May 1781 – 16 March 1849) was a German pianist.
Dorothea Graumann was born in Frankfurt and married Stephan von Ertmann, an Austrian infantry officer, in 1798. The couple moved to Vienna, where Dorothea Ertmann began taking lessons with Ludwig van Beethoven; he called her his “Dorothea-Cecilia”. He dedicated his Piano Sonata No. 28 to her, and she may also have been the intended recipient of his Immortal Beloved letters. Her only child, Franz Carl, died at a young age in March 1804. While she was in mourning, Beethoven invited her to his home and improvised on the piano for her for an hour in order to comfort her, saying “We will now talk to each other in tones”.
rtmann gave a number of public concerts and was most noted for her performance of Beethoven’s compositions: Alexander Thayer said that “all contemporary authorities agree, [she was] if not the greatest player of these works at least the greatest of her sex”. Anton Schindler suggested that “she grasped intuitively even the most hidden subtleties of Beethoven’s works with as much certainty as if they had been written out before her eyes”. He also said that “without Frau von Ertmann, Beethoven’s music would have disappeared even sooner from the repertory” because she created a musical salon dedicating to preserving his style against the rise of newer, more “fashionable” composers.
The Immortal Beloved will always be a mystery.
Certain biographers have declared that they don’t know, and have suggested that perhaps Beethoven’s sweetheart is someone whose name has been completely overlooked…

(The portrait on the right is one of the two miniatures that were found in Beethoven’s secret drawer after his death. It might be the immortal beloved – May be not…)


The Immortal Beloved (German “Unsterbliche Geliebte“) is the mysterious addressee[1] of a love letter which composer Ludwig van Beethoven wrote on 6–7 July 1812 in Teplitz. The entire letter is written on 10 small pages, in Beethoven’s rather inconsistent handwriting.[2][3] The apparently unsent letter was found in the composer’s estate after his death, after which it remained in the hands of Anton Schindler until his death, was subsequently willed to his sister, and was sold by her in 1880 to the Berlin State Library, where it remains today.[4] The letter is written in pencil and consists of three parts.

Since Beethoven did not specify a year, or a location, an exact dating of the letter and identification of the addressee was speculative until the 1950s, when an analysis of the paper’s watermark yielded the year, and by extension the place. Scholars have since this time been divided on the intended recipient of the Immortal Beloved letter. The two candidates favored by most contemporary scholars are Antonie Brentano[5] and Josephine Brunsvik.[6] Other candidates who have been conjectured, with various degrees of mainstream scholarly support, are Julie (“Giulietta”) Guicciardi,[7] Therese Brunsvik,[8] Amalie Sebald (de),[9] Dorothea von Ertmann,[10] Therese Malfatti,[11] Marie von Erdödy (de),[12] Bettina von Arnim,[13] and several others.[14]

After Schmidt-Görg (1957) published 13 then-unknown love letters by Beethoven to Josephine Brunsvik, it became clear that the one to the “Immortal Beloved” was not the only love letter authored by him. That Josephine could have been the unknown woman was subsequently suggested by analyses of similarities in wordings and phrases between earlier letters (from 1804 to 1809) and this mysterious one from 1812, mainly in the monographs by Massin (1955, 1970), Goldschmidt (1980) and Tellenbach (1983, p. 103 f.):[15]

  • My angel (used again towards the end of this letter): see “farewell angel – of my heart – of my life.” (#219, April 1805) – this also uses the intimate German “Du” (“Leb wohl Engel”); “farewell angel of my heart” (#220, April/May 1805).
  • My everythingyou – you – my life – my everything: see “you – you – my everything, my happiness … my solace – my everything” (#214, 1st quarter 1805); “dear J. everything – everything for you” (#297, after 20 September 1807).
  • Esterhazy: This Hungarian Prince was well-known to the Hungarian Brunsviks.
  • remain my faithful onlyyour faithful ludwigsince you know my faithfulness to you, never can another own my heart, never – nevernever misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved L.forever thine, forever mine, forever us: see “Long – Long – may our love last – it is so noble – so much founded on mutual respect and friendship – even great similarity in so many things, in thoughts and feelings – oh let me hope that your heart – will continue to beat for me for a long time – mine can only – stop – to beat for you – if – it does not beat any more – beloved J” (#216, March/April 1805); “your faithful Bethwn” (#279, May 1807); “your faithful Bthwn, eternally devoted to you” (#294, 20 September 1807). Clearly refers to a pre-existing long-term relationship.
  • You are suffering you my dearest … you are suffering – Oh, wherever I am, you are with me: Josephine was not only frequently ill, but especially desperate around that time because her husband had left her.
  • but – but never hide yourself from me: During 1807, Josephine began to withdraw from Beethoven due to family pressure; she was not home when Beethoven came to see her (see #294 and #307).
  • I must go to bed <o go with me go with me –>: the heavily crossed-out words are probably the strongest indication that their love had been consummated (and may explain the birth of Minona, Josephine’s seventh child, exactly nine months later).

The period of speculation (1827 to 1969)

In his biography of Beethoven, Schindler (1840) named Julie (“Giulietta”) Guicciardi as the “Immortal Beloved”.[16] But research by Tellenbach (1983) indicated that her cousin Franz von Brunsvik may have suggested Giulietta to Schindler, to distract any suspicion away from his sister Josephine Brunsvik, with whom Beethoven had been hopelessly in love from 1799 to ca. 1809/1810.[17] La Mara (1909) published Teréz Brunszvik’s memoirs, which show her full of admiration and adoration of Beethoven. This, together with interviews of some of the Brunsvik descendants, led her to the conclusion that Therese must have been the “Immortal Beloved.”[18]

At first most researchers, including Alexander Wheelock Thayer,[19] also thought Therese was the “Immortal Beloved”. Thayer thought the letter must have been written around 1806-07. Thomas-San-Galli (1909, 1910) checked out the official listings of guests in Bohemia, and at first (in 1909) concluded that Amalie Sebald was the “Immortal Beloved”. Sebald was definitely not in Prague at the beginning of July 1812, and Cooper (2000, p. 416) consequently ruled her out as a candidate. Thomas-San-Galli then speculated (in 1910) that it might instead have been Teréz Brunszvik, who he thought could have (secretly) traveled to Prague.

Doubts were raised by de Hevesy (1910), who ruled out Teréz Brunszvik,[20] and by Unger (1910) against Amalie Sebald.[21] A summary of the older literature can be found in Forbes (1967, pp. 1088–1092).

There was also a forged Beethoven letter by Paul Bekker in Die Musik,[22] But it was already shown to be a hoax by Newman (1911) –- a last-ditch effort to salvage the discredited Guicciardi hypothesis.

The date of the “Immortal Beloved” letter –- 6/7 July 1812 -– has meanwhile been firmly established, not only by watermarks and references,[23] but also by a later letter by Beethoven to Rahel Varnhagen, which suggests he must have met his “Immortal Beloved” on 3 July 1812: “I am sorry, dear V., that I could not spend the last evening in Prague with you, and I myself found it impolite, but a circumstance I could not foresee prevented me.”[24]

La Mara (1920), after discovering more letters and notes in the Brunsvik estates, was now convinced “that … Josephine widowed Countess Deym was Beethoven’s ‘Immortal Beloved'”.[25]

Czeke (1938), for the first time, published Therese’s diary notes ending in 1813; some were known already to Rolland (1928).[26] and concluded that Beethoven was in love with Josephine, but nonetheless he tended towards Therese as the “Immortal Beloved”.

Kaznelson (1954) evaluated more of the documents in the Brunsvik estates, and even though he thought that Rahel Varnhagen was behind the “Distant Beloved” he concluded that the “Immortal Beloved” must have been Josephine mainly because her daughter Minona was born exactly nine months after the encounter with Beethoven and her husband Baron Stackelberg was away. Kaznelson arrived at his conclusion even though H C Bodmer in Zürich, owner of the “13 Letters” after World War II (see following), would not allow him access to them.[27]

Editha and Richard Sterba (1954), using psychoanalysis, argued for Beethoven’s nephew Karl as the “Immortal Beloved”.[28]

Steichen (1959) identified Marie Erdödy to have been a lifelong beloved of Beethoven, and thus could also be the “Immortal Beloved”.[29]

Marek (1969) argued the case for Dorothea Ertmann.[30]

The discovery of Josephine Brunsvik (1957 to 1999)


Josephine Brunsvik, miniature drawn by pencil, before 1804.

Schmidt-Görg (1957) published 13 heretofore unknown love letters by Beethoven to Josephine Brunsvik (and a draft letter by him that survived as a copy by Josephine), that could be dated to the period from 1804 to 1809/10 when she was a widow after the early death of her first husband Count Deym.[31] Schmidt-Görg dismissed Kaznelson’s discoveries as “sensational”.[32] Goldschmidt (1980) explains why the German Beethoven scholarship was so reluctant to accept Kaznelson’s theory (already published before these “13 letters”): “The fact that, as a result of this meeting, they had … to take a natural daughter into account, appeared so venturesome to the professional world that the resistance to the Josephine hypothesis stiffened noticeably.”[33] Schmidt-Görg (1957, p. 31) believed that with the last letter (which he still thought to have been written in 1807 – not 1809) and with Josephine’s marriage to Baron Stackelberg (in 1810) the love relationship was terminated.

Ley (1957, p. 78) saw it differently: “Only on the negative side has one been able to arrive at certain conclusions: neither Giulietta Guicciardi, nor Amalie Sebald, nor Bettina Brentano can be considered any longer, and not even Therese Brunsvik, who for a long time was seriously regarded as the recipient of the famous love letter. But curiously enough, it is precisely the same documents which shed a definitive light, in the negative sense, on Therese which bear witness to Beethoven’s passionate love for her sister Josephine.”[34]

Riezler (1962, p. 46), still very much a “standard” German biography of Beethoven, followed Kaznelson regarding Josephine being his “only love”, likewise Dahlhaus (1991, p. 247) who concluded that “internal evidence” points to Josephine.[35]

The French authors Jean and Brigitte Massin (1955) identified Josephine as the “Immortal Beloved”, mainly based on comparisons of the “Letter to the Immortal Beloved” with the earlier 14 (15) love letters: “The letter to the ‘Immortal Beloved’ … not only uses similar wording, but also emphasizes his long-time faithfulness to his one and only Beloved.”[36] In addition, with regard to traces in Beethoven’s compositions, the “Massins argue that … the presence of Josephine in Beethoven’s life left traces in his music. … From the standpoint of music theory, the connections make eminent sense.”[37]

After Massin & Massin (1955) and Goldschmidt (1980), Tellenbach (1983, 1987, 1988, 1999) argued extensively the case for Josephine, based on many newly discovered documents, like Therese’s later diary notes, e.g., on the discovery of the “Three letters by Beethoven … they must have been to Josephine whom he loved passionately.”[38]

“Beethoven! It is like a dream, that he was the friend, the confidant of our house – a beautiful mind! Why did not my sister Josephine, as widow Deym, take him as her husband? Josephine’s soul-mate! They were born for each other. She would have been happier with him than with Stackelberg. Maternal affection made her forgo her own happiness.”[39]

Again Therese on Beethoven: “How unhappy, with such intellectual talent. At the same time Josephine was unhappy! Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien – both together they would have been happy (perhaps). What he needed was a wife, that’s for sure.”[40]
“I was so lucky to have been acquainted with Beethoven, intimately and intellectually, for so many years! Josephine’s intimate friend, her soul mate! They were born for each other, and if both were still alive, they would be united.”[41]
Goldschmidt’s evaluation of the Josephine hypothesis: “Without conclusive proofs of the opposite one should no longer want to part prematurely with the increasingly justified assumption that the ‘Immortal Beloved’ could hardly be anyone else but the ‘Only Beloved’.”[42]

Josephine’s candidacy as the “Immortal Beloved” was contested by Solomon (1988), mainly in response to Massin (1955, 1970), Goldschmidt (1980) and Tellenbach (1983).

Antonie Brentano and other alternatives (1955 to 2011)


Antonie Brentano, portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1808

In 1955 the French scholars Jean and Brigitte Massin noted that Antonie Brentano was present in Prague and Karlsbad at the time and proposed her as a possible candidate for the “Immortal Beloved”:

“The assumption that it could have been Antonie Brentano, is both tantalizing and absurd.”[43] They then argue:
Tantalizing is the assumption, because

  • Beethoven and Antonia since her return to Vienna were “on friendly terms”,
  • In the summer of 1812 he lived in the same hotel in Franzensbad as the Brentanos, and
  • He had dedicated in the same year to her daughter Maxe a one-movement trio.

Absurd, they argue, is the assumption because of

  • Beethoven’s lasting friendship with Antonie’s husband, Franz,
  • He borrowed money from him, and
  • “The many letters he wrote Antonie prove that a true and deep but – due to mutual restraint – nevertheless only formal friendship existed between them and Beethoven always seems to perceive Franz, Antonia and their children as an inseparable unity.”[44]

There was four years later also a claim by a Japanese author (Aoki 1959, 1968) who had “discovered” Antonie. However, this had not been noticed outside Japan. She also published her findings again in a recent book in German (Aoki 2008).

Once again and more detailed Solomon (1972, 1998) suggested Antonie Brentano to have been the “Immortal Beloved”.[45] His hypothesis was founded on two major assumptions (or prerequisites):

  • 1. the woman must have been in Prague and Karlsbad around the time in question (like Beethoven);[46]
  • 2. she must have been closely acquainted (at least on very friendly terms) with Beethoven, at the time immediately before this event.[47]

ad 1: Antonie arrived in Prague on 3 July 1812 after an arduous journey with husband, child and servant (and was registered there); she left at dawn the following morning: “Where did she have time that night for a tryst with Beethoven?” (Steblin 2007, p. 148) Solomon (1972, p. 577) admits: “There is no proof that Beethoven and Antonie met in Prague.” And regarding Karlsbad: “It is possible that the letter arose from a … meeting with a woman who informed Beethoven that she was going to Karlsbad and then failed to carry out her declared intention.” (Solomon 1998, p. 219 f.) Goldschmidt showed that “for short stays, residents [as opposed to foreigners] were exempt from reporting requirements”.[48]

ad 2: There are no love letters from or to Antonie, and no other documents supporting the possibility of a love relationship with Beethoven, there is only a letter by Antonie to her brother-in-law Clemens, where she expressed her “admiration” of Beethoven:[49] “At what point this worship was transformed into love is not yet known. My estimate is … in the fall of 1811. … The love affair was under way by late 1811.”[50] Solomon (1998, p. 229) quotes as supporting his case the Song “An die Geliebte” [To the Beloved] WoO 140, an autograph of which contains in Antonie’s handwriting the remark: “Requested by me from the author on 2 March 1812.”[51] The background to this: “In November 1811, we see Beethoven writing a newly composed song with the heading ‘An die Geliebte’ [To the Beloved] into the album of the Bavarian Court singer Regina Lang. … Dilettante verses … by a clumsy author, a real dilettante, a coffeehouse poet.”[52] Solomon (1972, p. 572) declares that Beethoven’s separation from his “Only Beloved” Josephine two years before (due to her second marriage) does not rule out that she could have been the “Immortal Beloved”: “There is no certainty that the affair was not momentarily rekindled a half-decade later. … There is still room for a reasonable doubt.” (Solomon 1998, p. 461, n. 48.)

Solomon’s hypothesis was contested by Goldschmidt (1980), Tellenbach (1983, 1987, 1988, 1993/1994, 1998), Beahrs (1972, 1986, 1988, 1993), Dahlhaus (1991), Pichler (1994), Altman (1996), Meredith (2000), Steblin (2007), Walden (2011), Caeyers (2012, and Swaffort (2014).[53]

Goldschmidt (1980) summarizes: “The Antonia hypothesis … is not so fully convincing that it excludes all others.”[54] and: “In order to possibly verify the Antonia-Hypothesis with its inherent factual contradictions once and forever, it is necessary to falsify the other hypotheses that have been offered.”[55]

Altman (1996) “demonstrates, as indeed Tellenbach has done, that much of the basis for the claims of Antonie’s supporters consists of distortions, suppositions, opinions, and even plain inaccuracies.” (Cooper 1996, p. 18)[56]

However, Altman’s suggestion that the “Immortal Beloved” was Marie Erdödy was shown to be “impossible” by Cooper (1996).[57]

Lund (1988) made a claim that Antonie’s son Karl, born exactly eight months after the alleged encounter with Beethoven, should have been his son; even Solomon did not endorse this, as he thought “it was ‘sensationalistic’.” (Meredith 2011, p. x)

Beahrs (1993, p. 183 f.) supported Josephine: “Was there for him in fact … one deep and lasting passion for a certain dear one, marriage to whom was precluded, not by psychological inhibitions of the inner man, but by prohibitive heart-breaking externals? … Where is any evidence whatsoever of true romantic love for even such dear ones as Marie Erdödy or Dorothea von Ertmann, Therese Malfatti or Antonie Brentano? Although all have been advanced as Beethoven’s unknown Immortal Beloved, the assessment is unsupported by the record or by any known correspondence. Intimate friends of Beethoven, true, one and all; but loves? There is one, however, and only one, to whom Beethoven did pour his heart out in impassioned declarations of undying love remarkably similar to the phraseology of the anguished letter to his Immortal Beloved… That one is his ‘BELOVED AND ONLY J’ – Josephine.”

Pulkert’s (2000) claim about one Almerie Esterházy, whom Beethoven did not even know, was refuted by Steblin (2001). Meredith (2000, p. 47) summarily comments: “… we lack evidence of a connection between Almerie and Beethoven… I must reiterate that we have no such evidence of a passionate love relationship between Antonie and Beethoven either, just of a close friendship; for Josephine, … we know he was indeed passionately in love with her in 1805-1807 at least.”

Finally, Kopitz’ (2001) “valiant effort … show[ed] that Antonie cannot have been the ‘Immortal Beloved’. She was a happily married wife and mother … her candidacy, which includes the improbable scenario of a ‘ménage à trois’ in Karlsbad, makes no psychological sense.” (Steblin 2007, p. 148)
Walden (2011, p. 5)[58] suggests that Bettina Brentano was Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”, based on the assumption that one of the two spurious letters by Beethoven to her is true: “If that letter to Bettina was genuine, it would prove conclusively that Bettina was the Immortal Beloved, but the original has not survived, and the authenticity is strongly doubted today. … her reliability and truthfulness are today under a cloud.”[59] Meredith (2011, p. xxii), in his Introduction, has reviewed the debate over the major candidates and he believes that “Walden’s proposal merits unbiased consideration”.
Meredith (2011), reviewing the history of the debate so far, deplores the fact that French and German authors (like Massin & Massin and – until then – Goldschmidt) were never translated into English, thus depriving especially the US-based Beethoven scholarship of the most valuable resources in this field of study: “Unfortunately, several of the most important and controversial studies about the Immortal Beloved have never appeared in English translation, which has substantially restricted their impact.” (p. xv) “Tellenbach … too has unfortunately never appeared in English translation.” (p. xvii)

Josephine re-discovered (2002 to date)

Significant new discoveries in European archives were made and published by Steblin (2002, 2007, 2009, 2009a) and Skwara/Steblin (2007). These can be summarized into two important items:

  1. Josephine’s estranged husband Baron Stackelberg was most likely away from home at the beginning of July 1812 (probably from the end of June for ca. two months), as noted in her diary: “Today has been a difficult day for me. – The hand of fate is resting ominously on me – I saw besides my own deep sorrows also the degeneration of my children, and – almost – all courage deserted me –!!! … Stackelberg wants to leave me on my own. He is callous to supplicants in need.”[60] Steblin (2007, p. 169) also discovered a document headed “Table of Rules” and dated 5–11 July with a list of ethical categories in the handwriting of Christoph von Stackelberg: “Thus this whole document, dated at the time when … he … was deliberating about his future, is surely further proof that Josephine was left alone … in June and July 1812.”
  2. Josephine expressed her clear intention to go to Prague (in June 1812): “I want to see Liebert in Prague. I will never let the children be taken from me. … On account of Stackelberg I have ruined myself physically, in that I have incurred so much distress and illness through him.”[61]

“A new way of looking at old evidence confirms that Josephine was Beethoven’s one and only ‘Immortal Beloved’. … All of the puzzling aspects about Beethoven’s affair with the ‘Immortal Beloved,’ including his various cryptic comments, can be explained in terms of his one known beloved – Josephine. Why do we doubt his word that there was only one woman who had captured his heart?” (Steblin 2007, p. 180).

The Immortal Beloved 1994 film

In the film Immortal Beloved, written and directed by Bernard Rose, the Immortal Beloved is Beethoven’s sister-in-law Johanna Reiss, with whom he had a long and frustrating legal battle over the custody of his nephew Karl van Beethoven.

The Immortal Beloved in music

A song cycle “Briefe an die unsterbliche Geliebte” for mezzo-soprano (or baritone) and piano trio has been written by Canadian composer James K. Wright. The cycle sets excerpts from Beethoven’s letter of 6-7 July 1812. A recording of the work by mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah and the Gryphon Trio is available.


  1. There was no address on the letter, and no envelope was found (thus suggesting it was probably never sent). The letter was addressed to “My Angel…”, but as the term “Immortal Beloved” (appearing only once towards the end of the letter) was unique in Beethoven’s vocabulary, it has been used ever since.
  2. For a facsimile, see Brandenburg (2001).
  3. For a transcription of the German original, an English translation and helpful historical context, see Brandenburg (2001). The letter was also published by Brandenburg (1996), Letter #582, and Goldschmidt (1980), pp. 21-23; facsimile p. 240 f. An early English translation, with several errors, was offered by Anderson (1961), Letter #373; a much better translation is in Beahrs (1990).
  4. The letter’s signature is “Mus. ep. autogr. Beethoven 127.”
  5. Solomon (1972, 1998), supported by Cooper (2000, 2008), Kopitz (2001) and Lockwood (2003), contested by Goldschmidt (1980), Tellenbach (1983, 1987, 1988, 1993/1994, 1998), Beahrs (1972, 1986, 1988, 1993), Dahlhaus (1991), Pichler (1994), Altman (1996), Meredith (2000), Steblin (2007), and Walden (2011); numerous refutations in The Beethoven Journal 16/1 (Summer 2001), pp. 42-50.
  6. La Mara (1920); Kaznelson (1954); Riezler (1962); Massin (1955, 1970); Goldschmidt (1980); Tellenbach (1983, 1987, 1988, 1999); Beahrs (1986, 1988, 1993); Dahlhaus (1991); Pichler (1994); Noering (1995); Steblin (2002, 2007, 2009a).
  7. Schindler (1840). Her first name was in fact “Julie”, as she was always called (Steblin 2009); in Beethoven’s dedication of his Piano Sonata No. 14 (Op. 27, No. 2), which was written in Italian, he referred to her as “Giulietta”. For some reason this name has stuck ever since (one of many myths about her, like her incorrect age and wedding date, see Steblin 2009, p. 145).
  8. Thayer (rev. Forbes, 1967), Thomas-San-Galli (1909, 1910), La Mara (1920), Rolland (1928)
  9. Thomas-San-Galli (1909, 1910); see: Goldschmidt (1977), pp. 182-185, p. 349
  10. Marek (1969)
  11. Tenger (1890), La Mara (1909).
  12. Steichen (1959), Altman (1996).
  13. Walden (2002, 2011). According to Varnhagen’s diary, 15 February 1856: “Bettina … claims Beethoven had been in love with her and wanted to marry her! … Nothing but bubbles and dreams! (Schaum und Traum)” (Tellenbach 1983, p. 101). Being happily married to Achim von Arnim since 1811, she is usually considered one of the less likely candidates for the title of “Immortal Beloved”.
  14. The 1994 film Immortal Beloved, written by Bernard Rose, has a fictional plot centered on the mystery of who the letter was addressed to, ultimately declaring Beethoven’s lover to be his sister-in-law Johanna van Beethoven. The story follows Beethoven’s secretary and first biographer Anton Schindler(Jeroen Krabbé) as he attempts to ascertain the true identity of the Unsterbliche Geliebte (Immortal Beloved). Schindler journeys throughout the Austrian Empire interviewing women who might be potential candidates as well as examining Beethoven’s own tumultuous life. In the final scenes of the film, after Schindler is unsuccessful at discovering the truth, it is revealed that Johanna van Beethoven, Beethoven’s hated sister-in-law, was supposedly the Immortal Beloved, and that Karl was their love child. (This, of course, is pure speculation.) See also Lockwood (1997).
  15. Letters in the following quoted from Brandenburg (1996).
  16. Beethoven was briefly infatuated with her in 1801-2 (when she was his piano pupil, and dedicated his renowned “Moonlight” Sonata [in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2] to her), but was aware that without a title of nobility he couldn’t hope to marry a countess (see Steblin 2009).
  17. “… da Giulietta ihre Affären nicht verheimlichte…” [… since Giulietta did not cover up her affairs…] (Tellenbach 1983, p. 17
  18. La Mara (1909) p. 17.
  19.  (rev. Forbes, 1967)
  20. (the “Louis” mentioned by Therese in her diary was in fact Count Louis Migazzi)
  21. The tone of the notes to Amalie Sebald in September, 1812, is incompatible with that of the letter to the ‘Immortal Beloved’.” (Forbes 1967, p. 1090)
  22. reprinted in Goldschmidt (1980). This forgery fooled many scholars at the time: “The editors of ‘Die Musik’ submitted this Beethoven manuscript to many well-known experts, all of whom independently declared it to be genuine.” [Die Redaktion der “Musik” legte dieses Beethoven-Manuskript vielen bekannten Fachleuten vor, welche alle unabhängig voneinander das Stück für echt erklärten.] (Goldschmidt 1980). Not enough: “Bekker made it then public that his Beethoven letter was a forgery. [But] many Beethoven scholars did not want to believe this, and in many newspapers and journals … expressed their conviction that this was undoubtedly a valuable genuine document.” [… veröffentlichte Bekker, der von ihm publizierte Beethoven-Brief sei eine Fälschung. Viele Beethoven-Forscher wollten dies aber nicht glauben und gaben in Tages- und Fachzeitschriften ihrer Überzeugung Ausdruck, daß es sich zweifellos um ein wertvolles echtes Stück handelt.] (Goldschmidt 1980)
  23. (Beethoven’s mention in the letter of Prince Esterházy’s presence at Teplitz confirms that the year must have been 1812) (Goldschmidt 1980).
  24. “… es war mir leid, lieber V. den letzten Abend in Prag nicht mit ihnen zubringen zu können, und ich fand es selbst für unanständig, allein ein Umstand den ich nicht vorhersehen könnte, hielt mich davon ab.” (Beethoven to Varnhagen, 14 July 1812, in Brandenburg 1996, #583.)
  25. “… drängte sich mir die Überzeugung auf, daß … Josephine verwitwete Gräfin Deym die ‘unsterbliche Geliebte’ Beethovens … sei.” (La Mara 1920, p. 1.)
  26. Rolland was in contact with Marianne Czeke, who seemed to have known quite a lot more about the relationship between Beethoven and the Brunsviks
  27. Goldschmidt (1980)
  28. Refuted by Goldschmidt (1980), p. 325 f. Astonishingly, this book was published in 1964 in German translation even though the “13 Letters” (translated by Anderson, 1961) had meanwhile been published, clearly indicating a very heterosexual drive in the composer!
  29. Refuted by Goldschmidt (1980).
  30. Refuted by Tellenbach (1983).
  31. More love letters (also by Josephine to Beethoven) were published by Schmidt-Görg (1969)
  32. Schmidt-Görg (1957, p. 35).
  33. “Der Umstand, daß man … als Folge dieser Begegnung eine natürliche Tochter in Kauf zu nehmen hatte, erschien der professionellen Welt als so abenteuerlich, daß die Widerstände gegen die Josephinen-Hypothese sich merklich versteiften.” Goldschmidt (1980, p. 15)
  34. “Nur im Negieren ist man in der Lage, zu eindeutigen Schlüssen zu gelangen: weder Giulietta Guicciardi noch Amalie Sebald oder Bettina Brentano können in Frage kommen, und nicht einmal Therese Brunsvik, die für eine lange Zeit ernsthaft als die Empfängerin des berühmten Liebesbriefess galt. Aber merkwürdigerweise sind es genau die gleichen Dokumente, die definitiv, im negativen Sinne, auf Therese hinweisen, Zeugnis von leidenschaftlicher Liebe Beethovens für ihre Schwester Josephine.”
  35. In a review of Tellenbach (1983) in the leading German newspaper F.A.Z. (on 24 February 1984), Dahlhaus stated: “Daß Beethovens berühmter ‘Brief an die unsterbliche Geliebte’ … an Josephine von Brunswick gerichtet war, steht inzwischen fest.” [That Beethoven’s famous “Letter to the Immortal Beloved” … was addressed to Josephine von Brunsvik, is now a well established fact.]
  36. Steblin (2007), p. 149.
  37. Meredith (2011), p. xv. Elaborated by Goldschmidt (1980).
  38. ”3 Briefe von Beethoven … sie werden wohl an Josephine sein, die er leidenschaftlich geliebt hat.” (Therese’s Diary, 15 January 1847, in Tellenbach 1983, p. 16.) This was then also in response to the biography by Schindler (1840), refuting his hypothesis that Julie Guicciardi was the “immortal Beloved”.
  39. “Beethoven! ist es doch wie ein Traum, [daß] er der Freund, der Vertraute unseres Hauses war – ein herrlicher Geist – warum nahm ihn meine Schwester J. nicht zu ihrem Gemahl als Witwe Deym? Josephines Herzensfreund! Sie waren für einander geboren. Sie wäre glücklicher gewesen als mit St[ackelberg]. Mutterliebe bestimmte sie – – auf eigenes Glück zu verzichten.” (Therese’s Diary, 4 February 1846, in Schmidt-Görg 1957, p. 23.)
  40. “Wie unglüklich bei so grossen Geistesgaben. Zu gleicher Zeit war Josephine unglüklich! Le mieux est l’enemi du bien – sie beide zusammen wären glüklich gewesen (vielleicht). Ihm hat eine Frau gefehlt[,] das ist gewiß.” (Therese’s Diary, 22 December 1846, in Goldschmidt 1980, p. 296.)
  41. “Ich Glückliche hatte Beethovens intimen, geistigen Umgang so viele Jahre! Josephinens Haus- und Herzensfreund! Sie waren für einander geboren[,] und lebten beide noch, hätten sie sich vereint.” (Therese’s Diary, March 1848, in Goldschmidt 1980, p. 296.)
  42. “Ohne schlüssige Beweise des Gegenteils wird man sich nicht mehr voreilig von der zunehmend begründeten Annahme trennen wollen, daß die ‘Unsterbliche Geliebte’ schwerlich eine andere als die ‘Einzig Geliebte’ war.” (Goldschmidt 1980, p. 296.)
  43. “L’hypothèse d’Antonia Brentano est à la fois séduisante et absurde.” (Jean and Brigitte Massin 1955, p. 240.)
  44. “… les nombreuses lettres qu’il écrira à Antonina marquent une amitié profonde mais presque cérémonieuse à force d’être réservée, et Beethoven semble toujours considérer Franz, Antonia et leurs enfants comme un ensemble undivisible.” (Jean and Brigitte Massin 1955, p. 240.)
  45. He used documents about Beethoven’s and the Brentanos’ whereabouts discovered by Marek (1969); see Goldschmidt (1980).
  46. “The sine qua non for identification of the Immortal Beloved is that she must have been in Karlsbad during the week of July 6, 1812.” (Solomon 1998, p. 219)
  47. “… requirements …, that the Immortal Beloved be a woman closely acquainted with Beethoven during the period in question.” (Solomon 1998, p. 218)
  48. “Von der Meldepflicht bei Kurzaufenthalten waren … Inländer befreit.” Goldschmidt (1980), p. 235.
  49. “Beethovens heilige Hände …[,] den ich tief verehre, er wandelt göttlich under den Sterblichen, sein höheren Standpunkt gegen die niedere Welt.” [Beethoven’s sacred hands, whom I deeply admire, he is walking divinely among mortals, his elevated stature opposed to the world beneath.] (Antonie to Clemens, 26 January 1811, in Goldschmidt 1980, p. 524)
  50. Solomon (1998), p. 238
  51. “Den 2tn März, 1812 mir vom Author erbethen.”
  52. “November 1811 sehen wir Beethoven ein neuverfaßtes Lied mit der Überschrift ‘An die Geliebte’ der bayerischen Hofsängerin Regina Lang ins Stammbuch schreiben. … Die dilettantischen Verse haben ebenfalls Stammbuchcharakter. Als den linkischen Verfasser … von einem wirklichen Dilettanten, dem Kaffeehaus-Literaten Joseph Ludwig Stoll.” (Goldschmidt 1980, p. 138 f.) Goldschmidt’s judgement about Stoll (1777-1815) is far too negative however. Stoll was a very successful playwright, who from 1809 on even received an honorary pension from Napoleon.
  53. “The flaw in this [Solomon’s] methodology [in Support of Antonie] was that he established requirements that he knew only his candidate could meet. They were therefore not independent objective requirements at all.” (Walden 2011, p. 104)
  54. … die Antonia-Hypothese … nicht so restlos überzeugend ist, daß sie jede andere ausschließt. (Goldschmidt 1980, p. 165 f.)
  55. “Um die Antonia–Hypothese möglicherweise mit den ihr sachlich innewaltenden Widersprüchen endgültig zu verifizieren, bedarf es der Falsifizierung anderer sich anbietender Hypothesen.” (Goldschmidt 1980, p. 166.)
  56. See also Meredith (2011, p. xxii).
  57. It had already been refuted by Goldschmidt (1980) with regard to Steichen (1959). Cooper’s statement however that “To get to Jedlersee from Klosterneuburg, you have to cross the Kahlenberg.” left a lot to be desired, as far as basic expertise in Viennese topography is concerned.
  58. See also Walden (2002).
  59. Two of three letters by Beethoven to Bettina (and published by her) are generally considered forgeries (like similar letters by Goethe she published), although Walden devotes an entire Chapter setting out evidence in support of the letter’s authenticity. Walden’s book is also summarized and reviewed by Patricia Stroh in the Beethoven Journal 26 (2011), p. 34.
  60. “Ich habe heute einen schweren Tag. – Die Hand des Schicksals ruht düster auf mir – Ich sah nebst meinem tiefen Kummer auch noch die Entartung meiner Kinder und – fast – aller Muth wich von mir –!!! … St. will daß ich mir selbst sitzen soll. er ist gefühllos für bittende in der Noth.” (Josephine’s Diary, 8 June 1812, in Steblin 2007, p. 159.)
  61. “Ich will Liebert in Prag prechen. ich will die Kinder nie von mir lassen. … Ich habe Stackb zu liebe [mich] physisch zugrunde gerichtet indem ich … noch so viele Kummer und Krankheit durch ihn zugezogen habe.” (Josephine’s Diary, June 1812, in Steblin 2007, p. 162.)


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  • Goldschmidt, Harry (1980): Um die Unsterbliche Geliebte. Ein Beethoven-Buch. Munich: Rogner & Bernhard (expanded version of “Um die Unsterbliche Geliebte. Eine Bestandsaufnahme”; in English: “All About Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved. A Stocktaking”. Leipzig: Deutscher Verlag für Musik 1977).
  • Hevesy, André de (1910): Petites Amies de Beethoven. Paris: Champion.
  • Howell, Standley (1979): “Beethoven’s Mälzel Canon. Another Schindler Forgery?”, The Musical Times Vol. 120, No. 1642, pp. 987–990. In German as “Der Mälzelkanon – eine weitere Fälschung Schindlers?”, in: Harry Goldschmift (ed.): Zu Beethoven. Aufsätze und Dokumente, vol. 2. Berlin: Neue Musik 1984, pp. 163–171.
  • Kaznelson, Siegmund (1954): Beethovens Ferne und Unsterbliche Geliebte. (Beethoven’s Distant and Immortal Beloved.) Zürich: Standard.
  • Kopitz, Klaus Martin (2001): “Antonie Brentano in Wien (1809–1812). Neue Quellen zur Problematik ‘Unsterbliche Geliebte’.” (Antonie Brentano in Vienna (1809–1812). New Sources to the Difficulties with the “Immortal Beloved”.) Bonner Beethoven-Studien, vol. 2, pp. 115–146.
  • La Mara (1909) : Beethovens Unsterbliche Geliebte. Das Geheimnis der Gräfin Brunsvik und ihre Memoiren. (Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved. Countess Brunsvik’s Secret and her Memoirs). Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel.
  • La Mara (1920): Beethoven und die Brunsviks. Nach Familienpapieren aus Therese Brunsviks Nachlaß. (Beethoven and the Brunsviks. According to Family Documents from Therese Brunsvik’s Estate.) Leipzig: Siegel.
  • Ley, Stephan (1957): Aus Beethovens Erdentagen, chapter “Eine unsterbliche Geliebte Beethovens”, pp. 78–85. Siegburg: Schmitt.
  • Lockwood, Lewis (1997): “Film Biography as Travesty: Immortal Beloved and Beethoven.” The Musical Quarterly, pp. 190–198.
  • Marek, George R. (1969): Ludwig van Beethoven. Biography of a Genius. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.
  • Jean & Brigitte Massin (1955): Ludwig van Beethoven. Biographie. Histoire des Œvres. Essai. Paris: Club Français du Livre. 2nd ed. 1967.
  • Massin, Jean & Brigitte (1970): Recherche de Beethoven. Paris: Fayard.
  • Meredith, William (2000): “Mortal Musings: Testing the Candidacy of Almerie Esterházy against the Antonie Brentano Theory.” Beethoven Journal 15/1, pp. 42–47.
  • Meredith, William (2011): “Introduction”, in Walden (2011), pp. ix-xxxiv.
  • Newman, Ernest (1911): “A Beethoven Hoax?”, The Musical Times 52/825, pp. 714–717.
  • Newman, William S (1984): “Yet Another Major Beethoven Forgery by Schindler?”, The Journal of Musicology Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 397–422.
  • Pichler, Ernst (1994): Beethoven. Mythos und Wirklichkeit. (Beethoven. Myth and Reality.) Vienna: Amalthea.
  • Pulkert, Oldrich (2000): “Beethoven’s Unsterbliche Geliebte.” [Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved.] Beethoven Journal 15/1, pp. 2–18.
  • Riezler, Walter (1962): Beethoven. Zürich: Atlantis (8th ed.). First published in 1936 (in German).
  • Rolland, Romain (1928): Beethoven the Creator. The Great Creative Epochs: I. From the Eroica to the Appassionata. [Beethoven. Les grandes époques créatrices. I. De l’Héroïque à l’Appassionata.] Transl. Ernest Newman. New York: Garden City.
  • Schindler, Anton (1840): Biographie von Ludwig van Beethoven. (Biography of Ludwig van Beethoven.) Münster.
  • Schmidt-Görg, Joseph (1957, ed.): Beethoven: Dreizehn unbekannte Briefe an Josephine Gräfin Deym geb. v. Brunsvik. (Beethoven: Thirteen Unknown Letters to Josephine Countess Deym née von Brunsvik.) Bonn: Beethoven-Haus. (Also contains several letters by Josephine.)
  • Schmidt-Görg, Joseph (1969): “Neue Schriftstücke zu Beethoven und Josephine Gräfin Deym.” [New Documents about Beethoven and Josephine Countess Deym.] Beethoven-Jahrbuch 1965/68, pp. 205–208. Bonn.
  • Skwara, Dagmar/Steblin, Rita (2007): “Ein Brief Christoph Freiherr von Stackelbergs an Josephine Brunsvik-Deym-Stackelberg.” (A Letter by Christoph Baron von Stackelberg to Josephine Brunsvik-Deym-Stackelberg.) Bonner Beethoven-Studien, vol. 6, pp. 181–187.
  • Solomon, Maynard (1972): “New Light on Beethoven’s Letter to an Unknown Woman.” The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 4 (Oct.), pp. 572–587.
  • Solomon, Maynard (1988): Beethoven Essays, chapter “Recherche de Josephine Deym”. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 157–165.
  • Solomon, Maynard (1998): Beethoven, 2nd ed., New York: Schirmer (1st ed. 1977).
  • Solomon, Maynard (2005, ed.): Beethovens Tagebuch 1812-1818. (Beethoven’s Diary 1812-1818.) Bonn: Beethoven-Haus.
  • Stadlen, Peter (1977): “Schindler’s Beethoven Forgeries”, The Musical Times Vol. 118, No. 1613, pp. 549–552.
  • Steblin, Rita (2001): “Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved: Evidence against Almerie Esterházy”. Abstracts of Papers Read at the Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Sixty-Seventh Annual Meeting, 15–18 November, p. 45.
  • Steblin, Rita (2002): “Josephine Gräfin Brunswick-Deyms Geheimnis enthüllt: Neue Ergebnisse zu ihrer Beziehung zu Beethoven.” (Josephine Countess Brunsvik-Deym’s Secret Revealed: New Results about her Relationship to Beethoven.) Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 57/6 (June), pp. 23–31. [2]
  • Steblin, Rita (2002): A History of Key Characteristics in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries. 2nd ed. (1st ed. 1983). University of Rochester Press.
  • Steblin, Rita (2007): “‘Auf diese Art mit A geht alles zugrunde’. A New Look at Beethoven’s Diary Entry and the ‘Immortal Beloved.” Bonner Beethoven-Studien, vol. 6, pp. 147–180.
  • Steblin, Rita (2009): “‘A dear, enchanting girl who loves me and whom I love’: New Facts about Beethoven’s Beloved Piano Pupil Julie Guicciardi”. Bonner Beethoven-Studien, vol. 8, pp. 89–152.
  • Steblin, Rita (2009a): “Beethovens ‘Unsterbliche Geliebte’: des Rätsels Lösung.” (Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”: the Riddle Solved.) Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 64/2, pp. 4–17.
  • Steichen, Dana (1959): Beethoven’s Beloved. New York: Doubleday.
  • Sterba, Editha & Richard (1954): Beethoven and His Nephew: a Psychoanalytic Study of Their Relationship. New York: Pantheon. In German as Ludwig van Beethoven und sein Neffe. Tragödie eines Genies. Eine psychoanalytische Studie. Munich 1964.
  • Swafford, Jan: Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph. London: Faber & Faber 2014.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth (1983): Beethoven und seine ‘Unsterbliche Geliebte’ Josephine Brunswick. Ihr Schicksal und der Einfluß auf Beethovens Werk. Zürich: Atlantis.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth (1987): “Beethoven and the Countess Josephine Brunswick.” The Beethoven Newsletter 2/3, pp. 41–51.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth (1988): “Künstler und Ständegesellschaft um 1800: die Rolle der Vormundschaftsgesetze in Beethovens Beziehung zu Josephine Gräfin Deym.” [Artists and the Class Society in 1800: the Role of Guardianship Laws in Beethoven’s Relationship to Josephine Countess Deym.] Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 2/2, pp. 253–263.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth (1993/1994): “Psychoanalysis and the Historiocritical Method: On Maynard Solomon’s Image of Beethoven.” Beethoven Newsletter 8/3, pp. 84–92; 9/3, pp. 119–127.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth (1998): “Psychoanalyse und historisch-philologische Methode. Zu Maynard Solomons Beethoven- und Schubert-Deutungen.” [Psychoanalysis and Historiocritical Method. On Maynard Solomon’s Interpretations of Beethoven and Schubert.] Analecta Musicologica 30/II, pp. 661–719.
  • Tellenbach, Marie-Elisabeth (1999): “Die Bedeutung des Adler-Gleichnisses in Beethovens Brief an Therese Gräfin Brunswick. Ein Beitrag zu seiner Biographie.” [The Meaning of the Eagle Allegory in Beethoven’s Letter to Therese Countess Brunsvik. A Contribution to his Biography.] Die Musikforschung 4.
  • Tenger, Mariam (1890): Beethoven’s Unsterbliche Geliebte. [Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved.] Bonn: Nusser.
  • Thomas-San-Galli, Wolfgang A (1909): Die “Unsterbliche Geliebte” Beethovens, Amalie Sebald: Lösung eines Vielumstrittenen Problems. [Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”, Amalie Sebald: The Solution to a Much-Disputed Problem.] Halle: Hendel.
  • Thomas-San-Galli, Wolfgang A (1910): Beethoven und die unsterbliche Geliebte: Amalie Sebald, Goethe, Therese Brunswik und anderes; mit Benutzung unbekannten Materials. [Beethoven and the Immortal Beloved: Amalie Sebald, Goethe, Therese Brunsvik and Others; Using Unknown Documents.] Munich: Wunderhorn.
  • Unger, Max (1910): Auf Spuren von Beethovens Unsterblicher Geliebten. [Traces of Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved.] Langensalza.
  • Walden, Edward (2002): “Beethoven’s ‘Immortal Beloved’: Arguments in Support of the Candidacy of Bettina Brentano”. The Beethoven Journal, vol. 17, no. 2: pp. 54–68.
  • Walden, Edward (2011): Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved. Solving the Mystery. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow.

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