The Death of Ludwig van Beethoven


Grey Matter

The death of Ludwig van Beethoven on 26 March 1827 followed a prolonged illness. It was witnessed by his sister-in-law and by his close friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who provided a vivid description of the event. Beethoven’s funeral was held three days later, and the procession was witnessed by a large crowd. He was buried in the cemetery at Währing, although his remains were moved in 1888 to Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof.

Hüttenbrenner’s account has been used to ascribe motivations of resistance and anger to Beethoven in his final moments. Beethoven’s last words, and the exact cause of Beethoven’s death have also been the subject of some disagreement.

Final illness

Beethoven suffered declining health throughout the last years of his life, including the so-called “Late period” when he produced some of his most admired work. The last work he was able to complete was the substitute final movement of the String Quartet No…

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