|Czerny from pupil to great piano school master|
The Mozart & Haydn Circle: studying and working with Beethoven
In 1801 Czerny became a pupil of Beethoven, a musician and composer well positioned within the Mozart & Haydn Viennese circle: Hummel, Albrechtsberger, the Wranitzkys, Schikaneder, the Prince Lichnowsky, Hoffmeister, etc.
And Beethoven exerted a great influence on his young pupil, who kept working as piano player for Beethoven. In many occasions, it was Czerny who played Beethoven's piano works in public during various important premieres.
Moreover, the prodigious memory of Czerny enabled him to play almost the whole Beethoven's piano repertoire by heart.
An astonishing tree of important pupils up to the 21st century
Long time collaborator of Beethoven, in ca. 1820s Czerny became also one of the most important piano teachers in Vienna. Through his pupils, all great talented musicians, like Liszt and Thalberg, he gave life to an astonishing tree of important masters of piano. Through his direct pupils, he reached, with his teaching, even the 20th century with the great Rachmaninoff and Arrau and the 21st century with US piano school of Ozan Marsh (pupil of Emil von Sauer), among whose actual pupils we remember Dr. Janet Colburn.
Czerny's piano works and the Sonata No. 9
Unfortunately, Czerny's beautiful works for piano had to face the same type of neglect as the piano works by the great Hummel.
Among the most beautiful works by him, we remember his Piano Sonata No. 9 Op. 145, now available also in the edition by pianist Martin Jones.
The technique of the Piano Sonata No. 9 in B minor Op, 145 by Carl Czerny is certainly a great example of the profound relation between Czerny and Beethoven.
The technique formulas, used in the first movement, are clearly derived by those used by Beethoven in his Pathétique Sonata: this fact may be considered particularly meaningful, if the story is true about 10 years old Czerny being accepted by Beethoven as pupil, thanks to his performance of his Pathétique Sonata.
Moreover one can appreciate also a peculiar use by Czerny of a technique based on rationality and symmetry, a way of developing the musical discourse, which he surely transmitted to his most important pupil, F. Liszt. Like his teacher Czerny, Liszt adored to build his piano technical difficulties, by using bases and formulas particularly rational.
Also the peculiar interest of Czerny for the dotted rhythm, in association with huge masses of chords, makes his music nearer to the pianism typical of Robert Schumann.
The affinity between the piano formulas of this Sonata No. 9 by Czerny (1827) and those used by Liszt to build his first version of the Transcendental Etudes (1825-26) is particularly striking and remarkable: it is clear so how the technical piano repertoire of the young Liszt was so strictly and directly linked to the vision of the pianism practice cultivated by Czerny, as a composer in 1820s.
The marvellous Adagio and the whole atmosphere of the entire Sonata feature echoes of memory from the last sonatas by Beethoven, sonatas, which, therefore, find here, thanks to Czerny, a profound and charming moment of new stylistic evolution towards new musical sceneries.
C. Czerny, Sonata No. 9 Op. 145:
Sonata No. 9 Op. 145 (http://imslp.org)
1. Allegro con Brio
2. Scherzo. Allegro molto - Trio. Un poco sostenuto
3. Adagio. Molto espressivo
4. Allegro vivace
5. Rondo. Allegro moderato
6. Fuga. Allegro
Martin Jones, Piano
Czerny Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 - Nimbus Records
S. & L.M. Jennarelli