6th January – Rodolphe Kreutzer
Kreutzer (15 November 1766– 6 January 1831) is our choice for 6th January, in remembrance of the day of his demise.
Lifespan: 64 years
Education: His own father, and Anton Stamitz
Fame Ranking: 5
Although little known these days, Kreutzer was famous during his own lifetime and impressed crowds with his virtuoso violin playing, praised for his execution, bowing and beautiful tone. While working in Vienna, Kreutzer met Beethoven, who was won over enough by Kreutzer’s playing to dedicate his violin sonata no.9 in A major to the violinist. These days, Kreutzer’s fame is down to his name being appended to Beethoven’s sonata, rather than because of his own compositions, of which there were many. Funnily enough, Kreutzer never performed the sonata himself, and it is said that he proclaimed it to be unplayable and impossible to understand.
Kreutzer’s work includes nineteen violin concertos and forty operas. He is also noted for his “42 Etudes ou Caprices”, written in 1796, which are violin studies for improving technique. He wrote in the Classical style typical of his day.
Here is Kreutzer’s Violin Concerto no.17 in G major.
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Listen to excerpts from Kreutzer’s Studies – click the box!