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Ludwig van Beethoven, Brief an Eleonore von Breuning in Bonn, Wien, 2. November 1793, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Sammlung Wegeler, W 5

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After he had been in Vienna for almost a year, Beethoven sent his first letter to his childhood friend Eleonore von Breuning in Bonn. He takes again from where they had left off and apologizes for his former behaviour, which had caused some differences.
Originally a copy of the Variations WoO 40 was enclosed with the letter (no longer surviving). Beethoven wants to express his regard and deep friendship for her with the dedication of the work.
Beethoven asks after two other friends in Bonn, Babette Koch and Carl August Malchus. He asks Eleonore for "a waistcoat made of rabbit hair", as the first one he had received from her is no longer fashionable. He wants to be able to say that he owns "something by one of the best, most admirable girls in Bonn".
The postscript concerns the execution of the piano part for the variations dedicated to her. Beethoven had first of all attracted attention as a pianist in Vienna; with these variations he had intended to "embarrass the piano masters there". In this way he wanted to take revenge on his "deadly enemies". He also wanted to forestall any competitors, who found "individuality" in his improvisations and passed it off as their own invention. Beethoven tells Eleonore how the trills in the coda should be played in case they are too difficult for her.

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