The Deux Études Op 105, were written for the Beethoven Album published in November 1841 by Pietro Mecchetti of Vienna to raise funds for the Beethoven monument in Bonn. They found themselves in illustrious company: the volume included Mendelssohn’s Variations Sérieuses and Chopin’s Prélude Op 45. Mendelssohn was sent manuscript copies of the studies in June 1841, and replied: ‘I cannot tell you how much I have found in them to enjoy and admire, and how grateful I am that you should select me as the first to send them to, in advance of the whole musical world. The D minor one is my favourite … but then there is that lively one in F major, which I love more and more each time I play it. They are both so truly Moscheles that it is hard to choose! The one in F I cannot manage at all yet, although I have tried hard.’ They are in truth at least as advanced and demanding as anything he had composed up to that time, the first in F major, Allegro scherzoso
, for its very rapid piano repeated notes, and the second, Allegro feroce
, for the power and stamina of its virtuoso repeated chords. Liszt, who gave several four-hand concerts with Moscheles in 1841 and was a constant and welcome guest in his house that summer, played both studies admirably at sight from the manuscript.
from notes by Henry Roche © 2003