December 23 1814: Beethoven’s Last Apperance at the Piano

“The most brilliant event of all was the concert and grand gala given at court on 23 December [1814] to celebrate Alexander’s thirty-fifth birthday. It was distinguished by the last public appearance at the piano of Beethoven, who accompanied the tenor Franz Wild in his lied Adelaïde. The composer had over the years benefited from the patron-age of Razumovsky, and was present at most of the receptions given by the Russian. In the past weeks he had dedicated a sonata for violin and piano (op. 30) to Alexander and composed a polonaise for piano (op. 89) for Elizabeth.”

 —  Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna by Adam Zamoyski

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