The film is told through Schindler's eyes, but the real Schindler was not a friend of Beethoven and had only a short tenure as the maestro's secretary. It has been claimed that Schindler destroyed 260 of the approximately 400 conversation notebooks and forged entries into the surviving ones.
Beethoven's doctor ordered him to spend the summer of 1812 at the spa in Teplitz. It is certain that he was at Teplitz when he wrote a love letter to his "Immortal Beloved." Her identity has long been a subject of debate with possible candidates including Julie Guicciardi, Therese Malfatti, Josephine Brunsvik, and Antonie Brentano.
Though played by a different musician in the officially released film soundtrack, Gary Oldman is actually playing all of the Beethoven pieces he is seen performing in the film. When he learned he would be playing the lead role, he spent six weeks practicing on a Steinway piano for six hours a day in his hotel; and completely immersed himself in the music as his research for the character. In an interview with the south bank show in 1997, Gary quoted an article that said "he mimes very well" in the film. In answer to which, Gary laughed and said "I'm playing it! I can play that!"