CHAPTER I
THE EARLY QUARTETS. (Op. 18, Nos. 1-6.)

ON 29th October 1792, when Beethoven left Bonn for Vienna, where he was to study with Haydn, he received the following letter from his patron Count E. Gabriel Waldstein,1 who had gained permission from the Elector Maximilian for him to make the journey:

DEAR Beethoven, In leaving for Vienna to-day you are on the point of realizing a long-cherished desire. The wandering genius of Mozart still grieves for his passing; with Haydn's unquenchable spirit it has found shelter but no home, and longs to find some lasting habitation. Work hard, and the spirit of Mozart's genius will come to you from Haydn's hands.

Always your friend,

WALDSTEIN.

Bonn, 29 Oct. 1792.

It was as the incarnate spirit of Mozart, moulded by Haydn's virile talent,2 that Beethoven was to appear to the musical world when the six quartets of Op. 18, following close upon the Ist symphony, were published in two uniform series nine years later. In these works of Beethoven's youth the clarity and freshness of Haydn are found linked with the grace of Mozart, but so far from being a slavish imitation of these two masters, they form, as it were, the crowning achieve-

____________________
1
L. Ernst-Gabriel, Count Waldstein-Wartenburg, Baron Münchengrätz, &c., Counsellor and Chamberlain to the Austrian Emperor, lieutenant-colonel in the army. He was born in 1764, and was therefore six years older than Beethoven.
2
Yet it is known that Beethoven always refused to be called Haydn's 'pupil'. According to Ries, Haydn himself wished Beethoven to put on the title-page of his works the words: 'pupil of Joseph Haydn'. Beethoven was unwilling, because, as he said, he had taken a few lessons from Haydn but had never really been his pupil.

-1-

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