Beethoven's correspondences reveal much about his personality, inner struggles, and love of music. This edition includes all of the musical staves appended by the great composer to his letters.
The second volume of Beethoven's letters begin with the composer in maturity. In these later years, several of his most accomplished and beautiful musical works were completed. It is clear from these written correspondences that music occupies a greater place in Beethoven's life; more frequently, he appends samples of and discusses musical phrasing and notation, giving readers insight into his methods of composition.
Although Beethoven concealed his increasing deafness for years, it eventually became public knowledge. His ability to compose beautiful music was however undiminished, and demonstrated in concerts around Europe. Thought remarkable by the public, Beethoven nevertheless lived in quite modest circumstances, but felt deep appreciation for the acclaim with which he was held by various orchestral and philharmonic societies.
In personal matters, Beethoven demonstrates great affection for his nephew Carl, whom he had won custody in the courts. However, the letters also reveal an irascible and controlling side to the composer: insistent that his nephew - whom he came to view as a son - be musically trained, the news that Carl's musical talents are negligible is a blow. Carl's subsequent intention to pursue a military career strains their relationship further.
Despite these trials, Beethoven had the support of friends until the very end; his illness worsening, he was able to borrow money to pay for care, but it soon became clear he was on his deathbed. The great composer's final words comprise a short will, in which his estate is bequeathed to Carl. Ludwig van Beethoven died the next day, as a thunderstorm raged outside his apartment.