Talk:Heiligenstadt Testament

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You can find some info here: Original (in German): More info (and manuscripts), here:


I don't believe that this document is a will within the meaning of the Act. Its principal purpose isn't to say who should receive Beethoven's possessions after his death, which is the principal purpose of a will - this document is a combination of an apology and a cri de coeur It looks to me as if someone (maybe someone for whom English isn't a first language?) has assumed that "testament" equals "will", which it doesn't really in this case. German Wikipedia says "Das Heiligenstädter Testament ist ein Brief", and I propose that the word "will" be changed to "letter". I'll do it myself if there's no disagreement here. --GuillaumeTell 17:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

This document is a will, it fulfills all legal demands of such a document which were valid at that time and it would have been accepted as a will by the civil court of the Vienna City Council.-- (talk) 14:18, 19 November 2013 (UTC)


I don't like it. The use of 3-400 year old English, I feel, detracts from the emotional appeal of it. Beethoven was in the deepest despair when he wrote this - a composer going deaf. I propose modifying the translation into more common speech to help convey the emotion. I'm not saying paraphrasing, just change 'ye' to 'you' and whatnot. --Milton 17:05, 23 September 2006 (UTC)