When Beethoven left Bonn in 1792, few could have envisioned the titanic creations which would follow his arrival in Vienna. The Count Ferdinand von Waldstein could hardly have foreseen the prophetic nature of his parting words to Beethoven: “Mozart's genius is still mourning the death of his ward. In the inexhaustible Haydn he found a refuge but no employment... Through unremitting industry you shall receive Mozart's spirit from the hands of Haydn." One can only imagine the exhilaration with which the Count must have greeted the sonata whose dedication immortalized his name.
The circumstances surrounding the creation of Petrouchka are well documented. After Stravinsky’s resounding success with “L’Oiseau de Feu” Diaghilev was most enthusiastic about the next proposed project, “Le Sacre du Printemps". Stravinsky, evidently, felt the need for a momentary respite before tackling such a monumental project. In his own words:
“Before tackling the Sacre du Printemps...I wanted to refresh myself by composing an orchestral piece in which the piano would play the most important part-a sort of Konzertstuck. In composing the music, I had in mind a distinct picture of a puppet, suddenly endowed with life, exasperating the patience of the orchestra with diabolical cascades of arpeggios. The outcome is a terrific noise which reaches its climax and ends in the sorrowful and querulous collapse of the poor puppet."