en / pl

Heiligenstadt Testament 1802

concert number 29

Performers

Jonas Vitaud piano

Programme

Variations and Fugue for Piano in E♭ major, Op. 35
Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 The Tempest

Concert description

Heiligenstadt, today a part of Vienna’s 19th district, back in Beethoven’s time his suburban refuge, saw a powerful crisis in the composer’s life in October 1802. Why would a nearly 32-year-old man at the height of his creative powers write a letter which he called his Last Will and Testament and address it to his brothers? Beethoven could have been overwhelmed by loneliness and the growing fear of permanent hearing loss. He even suggested in the letter that only his art held him back from taking his life. Simultaneously, the end of the same year brought us the magnificent and joyful Second Symphony, Variations for Piano, Op. 35 on the much-loved theme from the Eroica, and the first drafts of the Third Symphony. The French pianist Jonas Vitaud will perform a repertoire that reflects Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt struggles.