Re-examining Czerny’s and Moscheles’s Metronome Marks for Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas

Marten Noorduin

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Shortly after Beethoven’s death, several of his closest associates provided performance indications for editions of his works. Previous discussions of Carl Czerny’s and Ignaz Moscheles’s metronome marks for Beethoven’s piano sonatas have highlighted the importance of these indications for our understanding of the intended performance practice of these works. Nevertheless, the provenance and meaning of these metronome marks have remained unclear, which has led to some confusion in the literature.

By presenting new evidence, including the discovery of what are most likely the metronome marks intended for the missing sonatas from the first ‘complete’ edition by Tobias Haslinger, the article presents a more complete overview of the indications in these editions, as well as their chronology. In addition, it also discusses to what degree the editors seem to have influenced each other, which indications are most likely representative of Beethoven’s intended speeds, as well as why the metronome fell out of favour later in the nineteenth century. Finally, it discusses the meaning of these metronome marks for modern performers, and how these editions give options to disentangle the author from the text.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNineteenth-Century Music Review
Early online date13 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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