Carl Czerny “Point of Reference” for piano didactics

Carl Czerny

Carl Czerny, eminent  Piano Teacher, was born in Vienna on 21st February 1791 to a family with  bohemian origins.The father, Wenzel,musician and piano teacher , transmitted his teachings to his son that, at the age of 3 was already able to play short pieces,  and to compose at the age of 7 . In 1800, when he was only 9, Carl Czerny  was presented to Beethoven that, enthusiastic of his performance, chose him as new pupil. In 1810 Carl attended to Munzio Clementi’s lessons. From 1816 to 1823, every week,  several concerts took place in his house where his pupils played in front of Beethoven . In 1815 Beethoven entrusted Czerny with the important task of teaching piano to his nephew. Czerny gave lessons even   to the young Liszt, who, was used to play  Carl’s  Sonata n.1 in lab op. 7 during his concerts, and  dedicated to his teacher his early   Transcendental Etudes. Carl Czerny left behind many written memories for the posterity, according to  a common habit of his times. Thank you Master for having devoted tens of years of experience  and essetial teaching in the field of  piano virtuosism: who, between those that have started playing the piano ,could deny     have  tried Carl’s : 100 Studi progressivi Op. 139 Libro n.1, La Scuola della velocità Op. n.299 Libro n.1 , Libro n.2 , Libro n.3 , Libro n.4, L’arte di rendere agili le dita op.740. Only after having studied them in depth it is possible to face more complex forms of studies about  the execution of complete works. But, how many know that Czerny was a pianist full of promise?? (In 1812 he gave the Vienna premiere of  Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5) The most considered piano teacher in Vienna of his times (1791 – 1857 ) a composer incredibly  prolific in every kind of music (861 published works ). Finally, it’s necessary to underline, inside the great variety of Cznerny’s activities  regarding music,  his editorial interests. Czerny translated from the french and completed with notes and new examples the manuals and treatises  of armony,counterpoint and composition by Reicha; he  worked at the, new and enlarged editions of  Fortepiano-schule by Muller and the Mèthode de Pianoforte by Pleyel; moreover, he realized a new and personal edition of Bach’s and Scarlatti’s piano compositions.

Anybody could play Czerny better than Vladimir Horowitz with his unmistakable tones  le Variations.


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