Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Immortal Beloved Letter

I have always been a fan of designhotels.com. That's how I discovered Marcel Wanders, one of the most prolific and celebrated international designers today. First I didn't know anything about him , but I was really impressed about his appearance. After so many years in the casting industry I tend to find in everyone a character. This guy could be easily a movie star.

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Following Marcel Wanders on Facebook, I found out that he is looking for Elise.

"Marcel Wanders is designing the Kameha Grand hotel in Bonn. Since Bonn is Beethoven’s birthplace, the hotel will have an exclusive Beethoven suite. The suite is designed especially Für Elise, Beethoven’s most famous music piece so all the walls in this suite are dedicated to Elise, his secret muse.

Do YOU know Beethoven’s Elise? Are YOU her? Send us your picture! The selected portraits will be framed and used to decorate the walls. Marcel Wanders is looking for as many different faces of Elise as possible to add to the melody of the suite and be its muse.

Please send us your portrait in high resolution to elise@marcelwanders.com. The hotel will open in November 2009, so we need your picture asap!
Thank you, we will let you know if your portrait was selected."

August 2009

Now the hotel is open and Bethoveen suite is ready to share with its guests the love and the mystery of Bethoveen's muse.

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Now, writing this post, I realize that the iconical image of Elise is portrayed by this absolutely fantastical photography of Zena Holloway. Since I am fascinated by underwater photography, I couldn't miss her pictures. Actually I uploaded here some of her work in a post entitled CHILDREN OF THE NEW WORLD

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I was still intrigued by Bethoveen's Elise. I don't know why, maybe because I simply adore the process of creating music, the inspiration, the divine moment when love transforms itself in a harmony of sounds.

Yesterday I had a creative meeting about a project that isn't right now an inspiration for me and I tried to use, let's say, a tangential inspiration, giving examples of different campaigns that I consider to be very cinematical, mysterious and sensual (in the advertising sense ). I don't believe in sellers, I believe in conquerors. The era of selling products and services as we knew it has gone. Tell me a story and make me believe that I am part of it, don't tell me lies and sell me bullshit. LOL. This sounds like a recent tweet which I liked a lot "RT @jobsworth George Colony from 10 years ago. Be good because everything you do will be known by everyone #davossocial #wef"

Back to subject. Of course, I immediately remembered the story of Elise and the hotel suite (immediately because the place where I was it was exactly the same place where I read about Marcel Wanders and Fur Elise competition and our discussion and this fact were somehow related ). Laszlo, my colleague, told me that he may know who was Elise. I laughed because I thought it was a joke. In fact here starts a fantastical connection. Laszlo's family name is Forray. Forray was an old nobiliar family who owned Savarsin castle from Transylvania, Romania.

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Savarsin is nowadays famous especially for the Royal House castle. Its history dates back to a long time ago. First, there was a hunting area and the location was a hunting manor, built in 1650. Brunswick family receives the domain as a donation from the Emperor of Vienna. Around 1800, Franz Brunswick's daughter,Iulia, married Count Andrei Forray and the castle belonged to the Forray family until sometime in the XIXth century.

Franz Brunswick had another daughter, Tereza Brunswick, and a very good friend: Ludwig van Beethoven. The german composer came at Savarsin and fell in love with Tereza.
The story appears in the Savarsin village monograph including the fact that the famous composer dedicated a sonata to his beloved Tereza.

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"Tereza Brunswick remained in legend as the great composer Beethoven's immortal beloved. In 1807, the German composer was in Savarsin, being in great intimacy with the Brunswick family. Cape of family, Franz Brunswick, was named dear friend and brother by the composer and Beethoven dedicated him a sonata, Apassionata. Later, he dedicated to Teresa Sonata 78, "writes Joseph Dohangie Cojan in" Monograph of Savarsin village".

It is likely that during the 1806-1809 period a close friendship developed between the composer and Therese (Tereza) Brunswick. To this very day, the exact nature of their relationship is uncertain. However it’s certain that this remarkable woman was devoted to Beethoven her whole life and for a while she even responded to his passionate feelings. Apparently, love was not to bring Beethoven long lasting happiness.

It is not certain who "Elise" was. Some scholars have suggested she was Beethoven's fifth mistress, while others have suggested that the discoverer of the piece, Ludwig Nohl, may have transcribed the title incorrectly and the original work may have been named "Für Therese".

It said that Tereza Brunswick is burried at the Catholic Church from Savarsin and she is one of the most important and with the greatest potential of all the women who were ever the object of Beethoven’s affection.

Maybe she was Elise, but for sure she was the Immortal Beloved.

In the summer of 1812, advised by his physician, Beethoven goes to the Czech resort, Teplitz. Even though the summer spent here didn’t have any positive influences on his state of health, it was very fruitful in memorable and interesting encounters. One of those encounters was the one between Beethoven and German poet Johann von Goethe. But the summer of 1812 is also important because it was the time when Beethoven wrote a set of mysterious letters that created numerous commentaries and assumptions among Beethoven scholars. The letters are known as “The Immortal Beloved Letters”

This letter was found the day after Beethoven’s death in the secret compartment of an old drawer, together with a picture of Tereza Brunswick, as well as other documents and valuables. The letter was either sent to the addressee and was later returned, or it was never sent altogether.

The letter may have been addressed to Tereza Brunswick. This woman undoubtedly played a positive role in Beethoven’s life. They were linked through a yearlong friendship and affection for each other. In order to understand why the 42-year-old composer wrote his 37-year-old friend such a letter, one must restore the entire process of their reciprocal relations.

Romain Rolland, who became acquainted with Tereza’s intimate diaries, cautiously concludes: " The assumptions about the immortal lover do not seem incompatible with what I have learned of the circumstances of that time." Besides this, Romain Rolland admits that there are a great number of bizarre coincidences, which may point towards Tereza as the immortal lover.

Bizarre coincidences ? No. I can say meaningful ones. We are in the age of synchronicity.

"Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. To count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance.
The concept does not question, or compete with, the notion of causality. Instead, it maintains that just as events may be grouped by cause, they may also be grouped by their meaning. Since meaning is a complex mental construction, subject to conscious and subconscious influence, not every correlation in the grouping of events by meaning needs to have an explanation in terms of cause and effect." Wiki


What can I say ? I am happy and excited. This story will lead me somewhere ...

Until my next episode I will kindly ask you to read Beethoven's Immortal Beloved Letters and listen his music. Maybe one day you will receive a message.

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I will end with my thanks to Residence Hotels, a wonderful place in Bucharest where the magic happens.

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The Immortal Beloved Letter

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July 6, in the morning
My angel, my all, my very self - Only a few words today and at that with pencil (with yours) - Not till tomorrow will my lodgings be definitely determined upon - what a useless waste of time - Why this deep sorrow when necessity speaks - can our love endure except through sacrifices, through not demanding everything from one another; can you change the fact that you are not wholly mine, I not wholly thine - Oh God, look out into the beauties of nature and comfort your heart with that which must be - Love demands everything and that very justly - thus it is to me with you, and to your with me. But you forget so easily that I must live for me and for you; if we were wholly united you would feel the pain of it as little as I - My journey was a fearful one; I did not reach here until 4 o'clock yesterday morning. Lacking horses the post-coach chose another route, but what an awful one; at the stage before the last I was warned not to travel at night; I was made fearful of a forest, but that only made me the more eager - and I was wrong. The coach must needs break down on the wretched road, a bottomless mud road. Without such postilions as I had with me I should have remained stuck in the road. Esterhazy, traveling the usual road here, had the same fate with eight horses that I had with four - Yet I got some pleasure out of it, as I always do when I successfully overcome difficulties - Now a quick change to things internal from things external. We shall surely see each other soon; moreover, today I cannot share with you the thoughts I have had during these last few days touching my own life - If our hearts were always close together, I would have none of these. My heart is full of so many things to say to you - ah - there are moments when I feel that speech amounts to nothing at all - Cheer up - remain my true, my only treasure, my all as I am yours. The gods must send us the rest, what for us must and shall be -
Your faithful LUDWIG

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Evening, Monday, July 6
You are suffering, my dearest creature - only now have I learned that letters must be posted very early in the morning on Mondays to Thursdays - the only days on which the mail-coach goes from here to K. - You are suffering - Ah, wherever I am, there you are also - I will arrange it with you and me that I can live with you. What a life!!! thus!!! without you - pursued by the goodness of mankind hither and thither - which I as little want to deserve as I deserve it - Humility of man towards man - it pains me - and when I consider myself in relation to the universe, what am I and what is He - whom we call the greatest - and yet - herein lies the divine in man - I weep when I reflect that you will probably not receive the first report from me until Saturday - Much as you love me - I love you more - But do not ever conceal yourself from me - good night - As I am taking the baths I must go to bed - Oh God - so near! so far! Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?

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Good morning, on July 7
Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I nedd a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once - Be calm, only by a clam consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
ever thine
ever mine
ever ours

2 comments:

Disjecta Membra said...

What a thoroughly wonderful post! Thank you for this!

Katerina Panagiotakis said...

Therese was actually the sister of Franz - not the daughter. And it was actually her sister Josephine that was Beethoven's suspected lover, not Therese. Letters were discovered much later between the two. And Therese herself said in her diary about Beethoven 'Josephine's soulmate! If they were still alive today they would be together.' It is a rather tragic story, any affair had to be kept secret. If Josephine married Beethoven she lost custody of them and they fell to the hands of a brute of a man. She also had a daughter who was suspected of being Beethoven's. She was a musical genius and looked a lot like him!