Concert Reviews | CD Reviews | DVD Reviews | Opera | Early Music | News | Film | Art | Books | Kids

14.1.05

Me on Immortal Beloved

Antonie BrentanoThe Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, at Catholic University, has inaugurated an annual film series this year. The screening of Bernard Rose's film Immortal Beloved, starring Gary Oldman as Ludwig van Beethoven, will take place next Wednesday, January 19, at 8 pm in the Pryzbyla Center. I will be giving a brief introductory talk about the film, touching on the real historical background of the story. It should be a fun event.

The image shown here is a miniature ivory portrait owned by Beethoven. Maynard Solomon has shown, most convincingly in my opinion, that it is the likeness of Antonie Brentano, who was in all likelihood the woman Beethoven addressed as "Mein Engel, mein alles, mein Ich . . . meine unsterbliche Geliebte" (my angel, my all, my I . . . my immortal beloved). This summer, Misha Donat revisited this question in an article (Death and the muse, June 12, 2004) for The Guardian and also settled on Solomon's identification as the most plausible. Someone else has put together Beethoven's Immortal Beloved, a Web site devoted to "solving the riddle." After reviewing the many theories put forward over the years, you can cast your vote for the Immortal Beloved, with the promise that the results will eventually be made public.

No comments: