“My angel, my all, my self”. With these words Beethoven, in July 1812, began his passionate love letter to a woman whose identity has eluded discovery to the present day. Was he perhaps addressing the same woman four years later when he composed “An die ferne Geliebte”, his song cycle on poems by Alois Jeitteles?
Barry Cooper discusses this and many other questions in the Introduction to his new edition of Beethoven’s only song cycle. Not only does he present a meticulously edited musical text, he also delves into questions of performance practice that previous critical editions have overlooked.