The fund-raising for a monument to Beethoven in the town of his birth might never have come to fruition without Liszt’s extraordinary generosity. He contributed an enormous amount of money (from the takings of his concert tours during that period when he seemed determined to play two concerts per day, seven days a week), laid on accommodation, refreshments and musical entertainment in the form of a large cantata for soloists, chorus and orchestra, and received only the most grudging thanks, and the cantata, although lavishly praised by Berlioz, especially for its orchestration, was quickly forgotten. Bitter and twisted Clara Schumann described the whole affair as something Liszt got up for self-aggrandisement. A Beethoven-Album was duly published, and Liszt (rather hastily, in all probability) put together an album-leaf (Klavierstück
) out of the piano part of the vocal score of the cantata—just a few bars from the beginning and the end of the first movement.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1994