Between the years of 1818 and 1833 the Austrian composer, teacher, and pianist, Carl Czerny (1791–1857) wrote one of his greatest compositions, the f minor Grand Piano Sonata, Op.178 for piano four hands. Overshadowed by composers like Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and possibly because of Czerny’s prolific pedagogical output, this work has received little scholarly attention and is rarely performed.
The aim of my paper is first to provide a concise background of the composer for better insight of his ideas and influences and, second to provide a theoretical framework and analysis of the composition to show how this piece is uniquely set in the musical backdrop among early nineteenth century piano music. Further, I will demonstrate performance concepts and ideas of the composition highlighting his instructional mastery. There are two components for this project including a research paper and a lecture recital.
I hope this project could bring more musicians and audiences to Carl Czerny’s serious and concert music as he categorized his music. He had been a great model of true artist, he composes, teaches and perhaps not the greatest promoter of his own music like the contemporaries. However, he devoted most of his life to development of music and the new generation of pianists, which is the most honorable of an individual.
- A Rediscovered Genius, Carl Czerny and his F minor Grand Piano Sonata, Op.178: A Critical Analysis and Performance Guide