“You and I are Pure Inspiration”. Letters to Andrea Edited by Andrea von Wiedebach
Gottfried von Einem
The story of a unique affection that unfolds in letters between the 44-year-old composer and his niece, 27 years his junior.
Following the premiere of his opera Dantons Tod at the Salzburg Festival in 1947, Gottfried von Einem became one of the most prominent post-war composers. But the sudden death of his first wife, Lianne von Bismarck, in early 1962 shook him to the core. Two years before his wife died, Gottfried had won the affection of his niece, Andrea Liebrecht, who was fifteen at the time. Now, in April 1962, he confesses his love to the seventeen-year-old girl. What follows is a torrent of passion which descends on the young woman in the form of an inundation of love letters. Von Einem writes her up to four letters a day, suggesting what books she should read and what music she should listen to, and cajoling her to reply and to meet him.
For more than three years – up until 1965, when he meets his second wife, the writer Lotte Ingrisch – he courts Andrea in a positively obsessive manner. She in turn feels at once pressurized and flattered; the letters had a profound effect on her. Gottfried von Einem granted Andrea Wiedebach (née Liebrecht) the license to publish these letters and left the timing up to her. Now this amour fou is available in book form – the testament to a mysterious passion.