Kreutzer: Fourty-Two Studies for Viola


Rodolphe Kreutzer was a very important violinist-composer in his own day. His legacy to todays violinists is not limited to the 42 Studies (also called etudes or caprices), but they are certainly the best remembered of his works. Few students of the violin have advanced without spending some time with Kreutzers 42 Studies!

Rodolphe Kreutzer (15 November 1766 – 6 January 1831) was a French violinist, teacher, conductor, and composer of forty French operas, including La mort d’Abel (1810).

He is probably best known as the dedicatee of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47 (1803), though he never played the work. Kreutzer made the acquaintance of Beethoven in 1798, when at Vienna in the service of the French ambassador, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte (later King of Sweden and Norway). Beethoven originally dedicated the sonata to George Bridgetower, the violinist at its first performance, but after a quarrel he revised the dedication in favour of Kreutzer.