HEILIGENSTADT Water color by Tobias Raulino Beethoven, whose deafness dated back to 1800 and grew gradually worse, was overcome by fear and shyness. He passed the summer of 1802 in this little village hoping to find recovery from his suffering. The latter failed to come even though the period itself is characterized by the creation of most important compositions. ( Historical Museum of the City of Vienna)
THE CHURCH OF HEILIGENSTADT Colored engraving by L. Janscha During his sojourn in Heiligenstadt in 1802, Beethoven composed, at least in part, the Six Piano Variations, opus 34, the Fifteen Variations and Fugue for Piano, opus 35, on a theme from "Prometheus," and above all his Second Symphony, D major, opus 36. ( Historical Museum of the City of Vienna)
TITLE PAGE OF THE "RÉPERTOIRE DES CLAVECINISTES" J. G. Naegeli of Zürich, a Swiss publisher, at the beginning of the nineteenth century published a collection of new works under this title, and was the first to publish, in the fifth volume of this collection, the piano sonatas, opus 31, Nos. 1 and 2 by Beethoven. ( van Hoboken, Ascona)
TWO SONATAS FOR PIANO, opus 31, Nos. 1 AND 2 Title page of the first edition published by S. G. Naegeli in Zürich, 1803 Naegeli, knowing Beethoven's character but insufficiently, had the unhappy idea of modifying Beethoven's version in his own fashion according to his own taste. To the first Allegro of the sonata in G major he added, on page 9, four measures. When Beethoven discovered this arbitrariness he was beside himself and asked his pupil Ries immediately to contact the publisher Simrock in Bonn so he would publish a new edition of the two sonatas. The title page of the new edition was supposed to carry the words: √Edition très correcte.∛ ( van Hoboken, Ascona)
THE HEILIGENSTADT TESTAMENT, OCTOBER 6, 1802 When Beethoven felt that despite all efforts to regain health his deafness made but faster progress, he suffered a nervous attack and even harbored thoughts of suicide. Although not attempting it, he expected the worst and for the benefit of his brothers wrote this famous document usually referred to as the "Heiligenstadt Testament."