The Classical Style

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) rehearsing a string quartet, Wien Museum Karlsplatz, Vienna, Austria. © DeAgostini Picture Library/Art Resource, NY

Concert Program II

The Classical Style

As Haydn and Mozart crystallized the Classical tradition that Beethoven would inherit and transform, the performers of their day likewise developed ever more sophisticated instrumental techniques. Such musicians as the violinists Giovanni Battista Viotti, Ignaz Schuppanzigh, and others fueled these great composers’ innovations, empowering them to create music of heretofore unimagined subtlety and complexity. Alongside Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, Concert Program II spotlights Viotti, who played a seminal role in defining the instrument’s tradition in England and France, as well as one of his musical heirs, Rodolphe Kreutzer—the dedicatee of Beethoven’s most fiendish violin sonata and a skilled composer in his own right. These performers’ technical prowess inspired music of newfound resplendence from the day’s finest composers in Haydn and Mozart. Beethoven’s audacious creations, in turn, would challenge even Vienna’s most skilled virtuosi, likewise elevating the instrumental tradition to new heights.


Giovanni Battista Viotti(1755–1824)
Duetto for Solo Violin (1821)
Franz Joseph Haydn(1732–1809)
Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Hob. XV: 29 (1797)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart(1756–1791)
Violin Sonata in A Major, K. 526 (1787)
Rodolphe Kreutzer(1766–1831)
Étude no. 22 in B-flat Major from Forty-Two Études and Caprices for Solo Violin (1796)
Ludwig van Beethoven(1770–1827)
String Quintet in C Major, op. 29 (1801)
Tuesday 17Jul