Beethoven premiered his Violin sonata in A major (Kreutzer Sonata), op. 47
24 May 1803, Vienna
The Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47 is a sonata for piano and violin notable for its technical difficulty, unusual length (around 40 minutes), and emotional scope. It is commonly known as the Kreutzer Sonata after the violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, who it was ultimately dedicated to.
The sonata was originally dedicated to the violinist George Bridgetower as Sonata mulattica composta per il mulatto Brischdauer [Bridgetower], gran pazzo e compositore mulattico” (Mulatto Sonata composed for the mulatto Brischdauer, great madman mulatto composer). Shortly after completion the work was premiered by Bridgetower and Beethoven on 24 May 1803 at the Augarten Theatre at a concert that started at the unusually early hour of 8:00 am. Bridgetower sight-read the sonata; he had never seen the work before, and there had been no time for any rehearsal. After the premiere performance Beethoven and Bridgetower fell out: while the two were drinking, Bridgetower apparently insulted the morals of a woman whom Beethoven cherished. Enraged, Beethoven removed the dedication of the piece, dedicating it instead to Rodolphe Kreutzer, who was considered the finest violinist of the day.
Kreutzer never performed the work, considering it „outrageously unintelligible„. He did not particularly care for any of Beethoven’s music, and they only ever met once, briefly…
Beethoven – Violin Sonata No. 9 „Kreutzer”, Opus 47, Yuja Wang & Joshua Bell