Beethoven, Ludwig van

To the Distant Beloved op. 98

Editor: Helga Lühning

To whom did Beethoven address this song cycle “An die ferne Geliebte” (“To the Distant Beloved”), which he completed at the age of 45 in April 1816? Was it to the same person, to whom his passionate letter to the “Immortal Beloved” had already been dedicated in 1812? The source of Beethoven’s song text is also shrouded in mystery. We only know the poet’s name: Alois Jeitteles, a budding doctor and writer, about whose relationship with Beethoven we have no details. Whatever else, these songs provide a moving insight into the composer’s inner state, as he managed to find new creative strength after a difficult year. The cycle has been edited by Helga Lühning (Beethoven-Haus Bonn), who illuminates our single edition in a competent preface.

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