Ludwig van Beethoven

10. What was the Heiligenstadt Testament?

The Heiligenstadt Testament is a document that was discovered after Beethoven's death in which he relates (to his two brothers) his growing deafness, and his withdrawal from the world of society and general human contact. It was written in 1802 and marks the end of the first period of Beethoven. Included here is a complete reading of this very famous document. Very moving!


Be sure to view the videos on the Beethoven Home Page!