Grand Evening Party
Paris: Friedrich Kalkbrenner’s Residence
|Grande Sonate in E Flat Major for Piano Four-Hands |
(Op.47) (first time of performance)
|Mr. Moscheles, [?]||Moscheles|
|Principal Instrumentalists: Messrs. Moscheles, [?]|
Charles Hallé: Moscheles had often been at my house in Paris, even daily during the few months which he spent there, occupied with the composition of his second pianoforte sonata for four hands. I have indeed reason to remember that sonata, for whenever he had added twenty or twenty-four bars to the unfinished work, he came to me with the beautifully written manuscript to try them over. And in order to give them their due effect, as he said, we had always to begin from the introduction and to go through the whole sonata until the new portion was reached, so that for every twenty new bars in the finale, we played the introduction, the allegro, the andante, the scherzo, and the finale, so far as it was ready. Often I was fetched from my house even as late as midnight by the amiable and charming Madame Moscheles, because they had a few friends with them who were anxious to hear the sonata. I must have played it a few hundred times in this mutilated way before, on its completion, Moscheles gave a grand evening party at Kalkbrenner’s house to produce it before the artistic and literary world. It met with success, but has never eclipsed the first sonata, which remains superior to it in freshness of ideas.
[Charles Hallé, Life and Letters of Sir Charles Hallé; Being an Autobiography (1819-1860) with Correspondence and Diaries, ed. Charles Edward Hallé and Marie Hallé (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1896), 108-109.]