BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Monday, December 9, 1822

Today Franz Liszt gives another public concert, this time Vienna at the Kärntnertor theater, along with guitarist Luigi Legnani. The guitarist opened the concert with a fantasy for guitar. This was followed by a Divertimento by Bernard Romberg for cello, played by Hrn Funke. For his part, Liszt played the Rondo from Ferdinand Ries concerto in E-flat [which would be Concerto #2 op.42 from 1808, publ. 1812].

The Vienna Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung Nr 103 of December 25, 1822 at 819-821 was quite appreciative:

“The interesting little Liszt won the acclaim of the Akademie. He made a not unsuitable introduction with the Rondo from the E-flat concerto of [Beethoven’s former pupil Ferdinand] Ries. He confirmed today the general verdict of all the unbiased, which was recently given to his advantage in the concert in the Landhause; namely, that he has a decided, great talent for virtuosity; he possessed the right boldness and lightness.”

The Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung of January 22, 1823 (Nr. 4 at col. 53) gave a brief but similarly approving note of Liszt’s appearance: “The Rondo from Ries’ Pianoforte Concerto in E-flat, played by little Franz Liszt, who again, like a hero who has already turned gray in battle, passed this bouquet most creditably and reaped the most rewarding fruits of his astonishing talent.”

The Rondo from Ries’ Piano Concerto Nr. 2 op.42 is played here by Christopher Hinterhuber, accompanied by Uwe Grodd conducting the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra:

The Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung for May 7, 1823 (Nr. 19) at col. 302 reports that on this day a concert was given in Cologne by the horn players of the Darmstadt Orchestra. Among other works performed was a sextet by Beethoven with two obbligato horns. Either the Sextet in E-flat op.71, or the Sextet in E-flat op.81b (both from Beethoven’s first years in Vienna) would fit this description, so it is unclear which of these two pieces was performed. Both had been published some years earlier, but about 15-18 years after they were composed.

The Sextet op.81b is here performed by Laurent Weibel, Alexandra Raab, Kerstin Hüllemann, and Christiane Steppan, with Marc Gruber and Gerda Sperlich on horns: