Carl Czerny as “landmark” for piano teaching methodology

Carl Czerny

Renowned piano teacher, Carl Czerny was born in 1791 in Vienna to a family of Bohemian origin. Musician and piano teacher, his father , Weizel, soon handed down his lessons to his son who was already able to play brief pieces when he was only 3yo and to compose his very first works when he was only seven. In 1800, at the age of 9, he was introduced to Beethoven who, enthusiastic about the young pianist performances, decided to take him as his apprentice. In 1810, Carl witnessed the lessons Muzio Clementi used to give to young pupils. From 1816 to 1823, care of him, weekly used to take place his pupils’ performances, often in presence of Beethoven. In 1815, Beethoven entrusted to Czerny’s care his nephew’s piano lessons. Czerny was giving lessons also to the young Liszt, who used to perform his sonata no.1 in A minor and who will have dedicate his first work “Trascendental studies” to his master. According to a very spread custom during his age, he left lots of written evidences to posterity. Thank you master, for giving us years of very important methodology in the piano virtuosity scenery! Among those who approached piano study, who hasn’t ever played one of Czerny’s works? ”100 Progressive Studies without Octaves” op. 139 – Book n.1”School of Velocity” Op. n.299  Book n.1Book n.2Book n.3Book n.4”The Art Of Finger Dexterity” – op.740. Only after having understood them properly, you can venture to more complex forms of studies for piano playing. But how many people know Czerny was a promising pianist when he was young (he was the first interpreter of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, performed in Vienna in 1812)? How many people know he was the most estimated Viennese piano master of his age? And how many people know he was one of the most prolific composers (861 carried out works)? To end off the all Czerny’s activities related to music overview, we must take into consideration his working in publishing. Czerny worked as a translator from French and enriched Reicha’s harmony, counterpoint and composition treaties and manuals with notes and further examples. He also developed Muller’s Fortepiano-schule and Pleyel’s Mèthode de Pianoforte new editions- Furthermore, he made out his own version of Bach’s and Scarlatti’s piano compositions.

Who could have played “Variations” better than Vladimir Horowitz and his unmistakable timbre?


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