Home > Biography of Carl Czerny (3/3)

Czerny, the composer
Although he is relatively less known as a composer, he had created nearly thousands of compositions in almost every form, including concertos, solos, symphonies, chamber music, masses and studies. Many of his original compositions and piano arrangements are still in the manuscript form. Basically, he had divided his compositions into four distinct categories, namely: Serious Music, Brilliant Pieces for Piano Concerts, Easy pieces for Piano Students and Studies and Exercises.

Here, it is interesting to note that he did not consider the 'Brilliant pieces for piano concerts', which covers his impressive concert pieces and bravura variations as 'serious music'. In fact, his serious works category consists of eleven piano sonatas, written purely for artistic purposes. Only the last two categories were meant for piano students and beginners. They comprise the popular works of Czerny exercises, piano methods and arrangements of Beethoven and Mozart symphonies, operatic arias and simplifications.

Personal life and death
A compulsive workaholic, he took piano classes all day and composed music all night for almost thirty-five years. Hence, he consciously choose not to marry and had no relatives. But his writings reveal that he had developed a platonic relationship with an unknown woman for whom it is believed his 'Gradus et Parnassum' was dedicated to. Famous and rich, the most popular piano teacher of Europe died due to poor health at the age of sixty six, leaving behind a music legacy that has withstood the test of time.

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