In einem Weltmeer von Harmonie
(On An Ocean Full of Harmony)
Bettina von Arnim and Ludwig van Beethoven
starring Martina Gedeck and
Sebastian Knauer (piano)
Twenty-five-year old Bettina Brentano, later von Arnim, was first introduced to the composer Ludwig van Beethoven in Vienna in May 1810. They met only three more times before she left the city again a month later; however, these meetings were extremely intense. Bettina von Arnim was to return to them in her writings throughout her life. Beethoven was also extremely taken by the young lady's character; a very mysterious woman who would go on to become one of the main proponents of German Romanticism. He felt immediately attracted to her girlish charm, and was never stand-offish and abrupt towards her but in fact charming, attentive and sincere. Her works offer plenty of proof: she knew and understood Beethoven the human being and his music far better than many of their contemporaries. Under the title On An Ocean Full of Harmony, the author, music fan and moderator Wolfgang Knauer, who passed away in 2018, compiled a moving text about Bettina von Arnim's relationship with Beethoven from her works.
The actress Martina Gedeck reads the words written by Bettina von Arnim with empathy and sensitivity. Not least, she also does so in homage to the actress Hannelore Elsner, whom the event was originally conceived for. Sadly, she passed away in 2019. The reading will be accompanied by Beethoven's three most famous piano sonatas, performed by the pianist Sebastian Knauer, who developed the evening based on his father's text.