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Carl Czerny (1791-1857) - Fotografie eines Stichs von Blasius Höfel, wohl nach einer Zeichnung von Josef Lanzedelly d.Ä

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, NE 81, Band III, Nr. 408

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Carl Czerny worked as a pianist, piano teacher, composer and publicist in Vienna. Initially, his father taught him how to play the piano. But when he was nine years old, Carl Czerny received piano lessons from Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven based these lessons on the piano tutor by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788). Beethoven and his young student soon developed a friendship. Later on, Czerny gave Beethoven's nephew Karl piano lessons himself.

Due to his close relation to Beethoven, Czerny had an excellent knowledge of basically all of the piano works of his teacher. He could play those works by heart and he performed many of them in public. Czerny worked mainly as a piano teacher. Many of his students later became famous. Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was one of them and he became wealthy through these lessons, so he could later on travel extensively. But Czerny remained lonely and especially during the last years of his life, he lived a very solitary life. He then concentrated solely on composing and on reading and writing. Czerny published numerous works, above all instructional piano music. The fourth volume of his "Complete Theoretical and Practical Pianoforte Tutor op. 500 " contains detailed instructions of how to play each of the big piano works of Beethoven. His reminiscences, which were published in 1842, contain many fascinating memories of Czerny's encounters with the great composer.(S.B.)

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