T he German composer Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) was a friend, pupil and secretary to Beethoven who composed eight symphonies, nine piano concertos and 26 string quartets as well as many other works. Ries’s father had taught Beethoven, and Beethoven was the younger Ries’s mentor. On his deathbed, Beethoven said “Fetch Ries…”, so he was very important in Beethoven’s life. As a pianist, Ries was noted for his wildness and he must have been quite a performer. Maybe...

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