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Mako
01-14-2001, 10:09 AM
Just wondering, in studying piano, the main composer we are required to learn for many reasons is J.S.Bach. Any other composer is optional, depending on the preference of the teacher or student. Now as I understand it, Bach was virtuallly forgotten until Felix Mendelssohn retrieved some manuscripts from his teachers fire as they were being used like yesterdays newspaper.
If this is true, who was Beethoven's equivalent, apart from maybe Haydn or Scarlatti? Who were his idols? are there any publications of these composers available today?

Peter
01-14-2001, 12:21 PM
Whilst much of Bach's music did indeed remain unknown amongst the general public until the 19th century revival, a few discerning musicians were very much aware of his work.
Beethoven was fortunate in having C.G.Neefe as his tutor who (being an organist) was familiar with the works of J.S.Bach and introduced them to Beethoven - particularly the 48 preludes and fugues.

It is doubtful that Beethoven would have known any Scarlatti sonatas, as they really were very obscure until Liszt introduced them into his recitals. One of the early influences on Beethoven's piano style was Clementi, and yes his sonatas are available today.The sonatas of C.P.E.Bach would also have influenced Beethoven with there sudden Sforzandos and dynamic variety.

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'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 01-14-2001).]

Serge
01-15-2001, 02:03 AM
Ludwig was deeply respectful of both Bach and Handel. He claimed Cherubini was the greatest living composer when once asked. Mozart played a key role in shaping Beethoven's musical development and Salieri was sought out for vocal compositional training. I suppose it's safe to say Beethoven learned well off most of his contemporaries and recent predecessors of the area. Later in life, while he ackowledged rather bluntly his worth as a composer, Beethoven never lost sight of the fact he owed debt to the composers who shaped his own career. I always liked that.

Rod
01-15-2001, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Serge:
Ludwig was deeply respectful of both Bach and Handel. He claimed Cherubini was the greatest living composer when once asked. Mozart played a key role in shaping Beethoven's musical development and Salieri was sought out for vocal compositional training. I suppose it's safe to say Beethoven learned well off most of his contemporaries and recent predecessors of the area. Later in life, while he ackowledged rather bluntly his worth as a composer, Beethoven never lost sight of the fact he owed debt to the composers who shaped his own career. I always liked that.

Agreed, even in his last year Beethoven said of Handel - 'Handel is the most able of composers... I can still learn from him' (or near enough these words as far as I can remember). If only composers of the C20th had 1/10th the honesty, wisdom and judgement of men such as these, then perhaps 'modern' 'classical' music would not be the joke it has been for years.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Mako
01-15-2001, 09:16 AM
Thanks guys,

Big help. Also I saw somewhere that Beethoven greatly admired another pianist of his time. Unfortunately I don't remember who that was. Any Ideas? It was not a name I'd heard before.

Peter
01-15-2001, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by Mako:
Thanks guys,

Big help. Also I saw somewhere that Beethoven greatly admired another pianist of his time. Unfortunately I don't remember who that was. Any Ideas? It was not a name I'd heard before.

I think you must mean Hummel (who was a pupil of Mozart) - he was also a very able composer and in his day as well known as Beethoven. Several of his Piano concertos deserve to me more widely known . Beethoven fell out with Hummel and for many years the two men never spoke - they were reconciled during Beethoven's last months.

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'Man know thyself'

Mako
01-16-2001, 09:10 AM
Peter,

I had heard of Hummel, even played some of his trumpet music. I've found the reference I referred to and is states that :- "...in praising pianists. According to Reis, the only one for whom he expressed admiration was John Cramer, who was noted for his flexible legato playing......he insisted on an idiosyncratic mixture of Cramer studies and the teachings of C.P.E. Bach....." Anyone heard of John Cramer, or seen his studies anywhere?

Peter
01-16-2001, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by Mako:
Peter,

I had heard of Hummel, even played some of his trumpet music. I've found the reference I referred to and is states that :- "...in praising pianists. According to Reis, the only one for whom he expressed admiration was John Cramer, who was noted for his flexible legato playing......he insisted on an idiosyncratic mixture of Cramer studies and the teachings of C.P.E. Bach....." Anyone heard of John Cramer, or seen his studies anywhere?

Yes - Johann Baptist Cramer was born in 1771 and died in 1858. He wrote 105 sonatas and 7 concertos, but it is for the 84 studies that he is remembered. It was his cantabile style of playing that appealed to Beethoven. I have his studies in an edition by Schirmer.

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'Man know thyself'

Mako
01-17-2001, 11:43 AM
Peter,

thanks for the info mate. I'll be aiming to buy a copy tomorrow if I can find it.

Peter
01-17-2001, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Mako:
Peter,

thanks for the info mate. I'll be aiming to buy a copy tomorrow if I can find it.

Do indeed Mako, but as I am a Piano teacher for my sins, I would be very interested to know about your studies - I particularly recommend nos, 1 and 7 of the Cramer as being very useful.

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'Man know thyself'

Mako
01-18-2001, 07:52 AM
What do they focus on? I am just starting back at the piano after 6 years of non playing. What do you recommend?

Peter
01-18-2001, 01:07 PM
Well Mako, it all depends on what level you were before - certainly you should brush up your scales and arpeggios. When it comes to studies, I'm a little sceptical - I think you have to be selective (i.e. no point in playing through the whole book) - I only ever did numbers 1 and 7 from Cramer, as they were the most useful - the first of these helps develop clean finger work, and the other teaches balance (if you're using the right movements!). Hanon is also good for finger work - but again be selective or you'll spend all your time doing studies instead of playing music! - Then of course you MUST do Bach, start off with the 2 part inventions then the 3 parts and finally the Preludes and Fugues.

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'Man know thyself'

Mako
01-19-2001, 08:02 AM
Peter,

I was just about to start the A.Mus. level AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) before I decided to give it a rest. I have the Cramer studies on order and plan to work intelligently, as you suggested. Thanks for the info.