Martin Jones: Carl Czerny Piano Sonata 6

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Written in the year of Beethoven's death, this massive sonata is in multi-movements just like the master's late string quartets. Very heroic and a lot of memorable material.

Performed by Martin Jones.

I. Introduzione: Adagio sostenuto ed espressivo - 00:00
I. Capriccio Appasionata: Allegro energico - 3:03
II. Allegretto con moto, vivace ma serioso - 15:30
III. Scherzo & Trio: Presto - 23:19
IV. Chorale der Böhmen - 26:10
V. Presto scherzando - 38:11
VI. Finale: Allegro con fuoco - 41:38

Carl Czerny was born in Vienna to a musical family of Czech origin. His grandfather was a violinist and his father was an oboist, organist, and pianist. His family came to Vienna from Nymburk, Bohemia and Carl himself did not speak German until the age of ten. A child prodigy, Czerny began playing piano at age three and composing at age seven. His first piano teacher was his father, Wenzel Czerny, who taught him mainly Bach, Mozart, and Clementi. Czerny began performing piano recitals in his parents' home. Beethoven, attending one such recital, was so impressed with Czerny's performance of his Pathétique Sonata that he took on the 10 year old as a student. Czerny remained under Beethoven's tutelage for the next three years. Czerny went on to take lessons from Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Antonio Salieri. Czerny also attended courses which Muzio Clementi held in Paris, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Prague, Rome and Milan.

Czerny made his first public performance in 1800 playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor. However, Czerny was never confident in his abilities as a performer and resolved to withdraw permanently from the stage. At age 21, in February 1812, Czerny returned to the public to give the Vienna premiere of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, "Emperor".

At age fifteen, Czerny began a very successful teaching career. Basing his method on the teaching of Beethoven and Clementi, Czerny taught up to twelve lessons a day in the homes of Viennese nobility. His notable students included Sigismond Thalberg, Stephen Heller, Alfred Jaëll, Theodor Leschetizky, Theodor Kullak, Theodor Döhler, and Anna Caroline Oury. Czerny's fees were so steep that some students, such as Stephen Heller, were unable to afford it and had to switch teachers.

His most famous student was Franz Liszt, who began studying with Czerny at age nine. Czerny was Liszt's only teacher. Upon taking him on as a student, Czerny forced Liszt to abandon all repertoire for the first few months, insisting he play only scales and exercises to strengthen his technique.

As a concert pianist, Liszt went on to include several Czerny compositions in his repertoire. Liszt also dedicated his twelve Transcendental Études to Czerny, who was among the first composers to pioneer the "étude" form. Liszt also collaborated with Czerny on the Hexaméron; a joint work along with fellow composers Frédéric Chopin, Sigismond Thalberg, Henri Herz, and Johann Peter Pixis. His edition of Johann Sebastian Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier proved enormously influential in the following centuries.

Czerny remained in Vienna for most of his life, only leaving three times (he visited Leipzig in 1836, Paris and London in 1837, and Lombardy in 1846). He died in Vienna at the age of 66. He never married and he had no near relatives. Shortly before his death, he disposed of his considerable fortune with the help of his friend and lawyer Leopold von Sonnleithner.