BERLIN (Reuters) – A rare handwritten letter by German composer Ludwig van Beethoven complaining about illness and a lack of money has turned up at a northern German institute as part of a bequest, causing excitement among lovers of the musical genius.
The Brahms Institute in the northern city of Luebeck said the six-page letter bearing the composer’s signature and original seal was, in essence, an attempt to sell his well-known “Missa solemnis” mass which he completed in 1823.
In the letter, Beethoven asks harpist and composer Franz Anton Stockhausen to help find advance buyers for the mass.
But most striking are details about his personal circumstances, such as his financial concerns, an eye disorder and an attempt to track down a music-loving dentist who wrote to him, said Stefan Weymar, music researcher at the institute.
“My low salary and my illness demand efforts to make a better fortune,” said Beethoven in the letter, which has turned yellow with age and needs to be stored in special conditions and handled with gloves. Full Story