Beethoven left Vienna in February, 1796, probably in the company of Prince Lichnowsky, and did not return until the beginning of the following summer.
THE NATIONAL THEATER OF PRAGUE Water color by Vincenz Morstadt In 1787 Mozart conducted a performance of "The Marriage of Figaro" and the première of "Don Giovanni" in this beautiful building, a gift of Count Nostitz. Beethoven spent several weeks in Prague playing not only his own compositions in his concerts, but also improvisations which won the favor of his audiences. His mastery of extemporization was incomparable. Upon departing from Prague he had made many friends plus a considerable amount of money. ( City Museum, Prague)
THE SINGAKADEMIE IN BERLIN Lithograph by Finden after Klose Beethoven used the opportunity of his presence in the Prussian capital to play for the court and for larger audiences several times, primarily in the concert hall of the Singakademie. His skillful improvisations at the piano on themes given him by the audience apparently left a deeper impression than did his own compositions. ( Former State Library, Berlin)
FREDERICK WILLIAM II, KING OF PRUSSIA (1744-1797) Engraving by Sintzenich after Schröder The nephew and successor of Frederick the Great, himself a music lover to whom masters such as Mozart and Boccherini had dedicated some of their works, received Beethoven, then 26 years old, with great cordiality. He had Beethoven play for him on several occasions, and on his departure presented him with a golden box filled with louis d'ors. ( Former State Library, Berlin)
JEAN-LOUIS DUPORT (1741-1818) Engraving by Madame Lingée after Charles-Nicolas Cochin Beethoven, together with this excellent cellist, had played for the royal family in Berlin. ( National Library, Vienna)
TWO GRAND SONATAS FOR PIANO AND VIOLONCELLO, OPUS 5 In gratitude Beethoven dedicated these sonatas to the King of Prussia. Together with Jean-Louis Duport, solo cellist at the court, he had performed them for the monarch. These sonatas were published by Artaria in Vienna in 1797. ( van Hoboken, Ascona)
FRIEDRICH HEINRICH HIMMEL (1765-1814) After an engraving, not signed Himmel, a talented composer and conductor, met Beethoven in Berlin. Their friendship lasted but a short time. ( Former State Library, Berlin)