Deafness and despair: The Heiligenstadt Testament
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Beethoven: 20 facts about the great composer
10. Deafness and despair: The Heiligenstadt Testament
Despite his increasing deafness, by 1802 Beethoven was almost at breaking point. On a retreat to Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna, he wrote: “I would have ended my life – it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me.” It’s known as the ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’, and was published in 1828.