BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, January 9, 1823

In today’s Wiener Zeitung at p.23, S.A. Steiner & Co. repeats the advertisement for Carl Czerny’s set of 24 waltzes for piano, “Les Etrennes,” op.32, with the added suggestions that this set of dances makes a pleasant New Year’s gift to all of his admirers and is a good way to open the beginning of the merry time of Carnival. “All the more so since these original dance melodies, which correspond perfectly to today’s tastes, not only flatter the ear and set the feet in motion, but they also win spiritual interest from the intellectual powers of reason.”

This set of little dances is for the most part not terribly difficult and would have been appropriate for amateur pianists in their parlors. The prime exception is Waltz No.7 in C major, which includes a passage of 32nd notes in parallel thirds, marked “Brillante.” This dance spends nearly the entire dance in the highest portion of the keyboard. Waltz No. 3 in A major features some uncomfortable leaps as well. Nearly all of the dances include extreme contrasts of volume, varying between piano and fortissimo.

Sammy G Funx here plays Czerny’s Les √Čtrennes: