Heart-breaking quotations from the great composers' love letters
Some of the most beautiful love letters ever written were by the great composers – here are some of our favourites.
1. Mozart writes to his wife, Constanze
In a letter to his wife, Constanze, Mozart wrote "An astonishing number of kisses are flying about! I see a whole crowd of them… I kiss you millions of times."
2. Robert Schumann writes to his wife, Clara
This quotation comes from one of the most famous musical partnerships of all time. Robert Schumann fell deeply in love with Clara Wieck, one of the greatest pianists of her time. But her father initially forbade the match.
3. Berlioz writing about Harriet Smithson
Berlioz fell head over heels for the soprano Harriet Smithson – despite only seeing her perform on stage. They didn't even speak the same language. The pair did eventually marry – but it was fairly disastrous.
4. Wagner writing in a diary to Cosima
Wagner began an affair with Cosima von Bülow. They pair went on to marry and have children together – including a daughter called Isolde and a son called Siegfried.
5. Benjamin Britten writing to Peter Pears
The composer Benjamin Britten writes to his partner, the tenor Peter Pears: "My darling heart – I do love you so terribly… you are the greatest artist that ever was."
6. Beethoven to his "Immortal Beloved"
In 1812 the composer Beethoven wrote a composer to an anonymous woman whom he called his "Immortal Beloved". Scholars today think it may have been intended for Countess Josephine von Brunsvik, but the composer never sent the letter.
7. Janáček to Kamila Stösslová
Towards the end of his life, the Czech composer Leos Janáček fell in love with a much younger woman called Kamila. The letters they exchanged inspired the composers quartet 'Intimate Letters'.
8. Tchaikovsky writes to Vladimir Davydov
Tchaikovsky's nephew, Vladimir Davydov (known as Bob) lived in the composer's house for many years – and the composer signed over his copyright and royalties over to him in his will. This is from one of Tchaikovsky's letters to his lover.
9. Brahms writing to Clara Schumann
The composer Johannes Brahms was in love with Clara Schumann – but unfortunately she was married to the composer Robert Schumann, one of Brahms' best friends. Historians disagree over whether the pair ever acted on their feelings – but this quotation is pretty unequivocal…