Great Violinists And Pianists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about Great Violinists And Pianists.
own way in life.  So young Ignaz, little more than a child, went to Vienna, where he was warmly received in the hospitable musical circles of that capital.  He took lessons in counterpoint from Albrechts-burger, and in composition from Salieri, and in all ways indicated that serene, tireless industry which marked his whole after-career.  Moscheles spent eight years at Vienna, continually growing in estimation as artist and beginning to make his mark as a composer.  His own reminiscences of the brilliant and gifted men who clustered in Vienna are very pleasant, but it is to Beethoven that his admiration specially went forth.  The great master liked his young disciple much, and proposed to him that he should set the numbers of “Fidelio” for the piano, a task which, it is needless to say, was gladly accepted.  Moscheles tells us one morning, when he went to see Beethoven, he found him lying in bed.  “He happened to be in remarkably good spirits, jumped up immediately, and placed himself, just as he was, at the window looking out on the Schotten-bastei, with the view of examining the ‘Fidelio’ numbers which I had arranged.  Naturally, a crowd of street-boys collected under the window, when he roared out, ‘Now, what do these confounded boys want?’ I laughed and pointed to his own figure.  ‘Yes, yes!  You are quite right,’ he said, and hastily put on a dressing-gown.”

Moscheles’s associations were even at this early period with all the foremost people of the age, and he was cordially welcome in every circle.  He composed a good deal, besides giving concerts and playing in private select circles, and was recognized as being the equal of Hummel, who had hitherto been accepted as the great piano virtuoso of Vienna.  The two were very good friends in spite of their rivalry.  They, as well as all the Viennese musicians, were bound together by a common tie, very well expressed in the saying of Moscheles:  “We musicians, whatever we be, are mere satellites of the great Beethoven, the dazzling luminary.”


In the autumn of 1816 Moscheles bade a sorrowful adieu to the imperial city, where he had spent so many happy years, to undertake an extended concert tour, armed with letters of introduction to all the courts of Europe from Prince Lichtenstein, Countess Hardigg, and other influential admirers.  He proceeded directly to Leipzig, where he was warmly received by the musical fraternity of that city, especially by the Wiecks, of whose daughter Clara he speaks in highly eulogistic words.  He played his own compositions, which already began to show that serene and finished beauty so characteristic of his after-writings.  A similar success greeted him at Dresden, where, among other concerts, he gave one before the court.  Of this entertainment Moscheles writes:  “The court actually dined (this barbarous custom still prevails), and the royal household listened in the galleries, while I and the court band made music to them, and barbarous it really was; but, in regard to truth, I must add that royalty and also the lackeys kept as quiet as possible, and the former congratulated me, and actually condescended to admit me to friendly conversation.”  He continued his concerts in Munich, Augsburg, Amsterdam, Brussels, and other cities, creating the most genuine admiration wherever he went, and finally reached Paris in December, 1817.

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Great Violinists And Pianists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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