The younger Czerny (1791 - 1857)




What questions might we have at the outset of our chronological exploration of the topic of Beethoven and Czerny?  Perhaps, we are faced with questions such as these:   

Of what nature were the general life circumstances of both teacher and pupil when they met for the first time? 

How did the relationship between pupil and teacher unfold?  What did Beethoven convey to Czerny directly, and what, perhaps, indirectly?  

How did their relationship develop after the completion of Czerny's studies with Beethoven?  What sources are at our disposal for the investigation of such questions?  What impression do they convey to us?  

What was Czerny's role in passing on Beethoven's legacy after his death?  What of it found reflection in Beethoven research?  

These are only some questions which we might ask ourselves at the outset of our exploration, while we can only hope that it might provide us with some answers to them.  

A further possibility is that our findings might leave us with further questions.  Of course, in this event, it would be entirely up to us, on an individual basis, if we want to explore such questions further or if we want to leave the task of finding answers to them, to others.  

However, in order for us to approach any of these possibilities, we would first have to begin our exploration.



When and how did Beethoven and Czerny meet?  Thayer offers us the following report: 

"Krumpholz was a virtuoso on the mandolin, and for that reason, apparently, Beethoven wrote a few pieces for pianoforte and mandolin in threes years.(7: See KHV, WoO 43).

Krumpholz concerns us also as the friend through whom the Czerny family became acquainted with Beethoven. Carl Czerny (1891 - 1857) was shortly to become one of the composer's real students. The following extracts from Carl Czerny's memoirs (1842) show how this introduction led to his long association with the master. The original manuscript is in the archives of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, and the translation used here is from Beethoven, Impressions of Contemporaries, New York, 1926 (pp. 24ff).

"At that time an old man named Krumpholz (brother of the inventor of the pedal harp) visited us nearly every morning. He was a violinist and as such had a position in the orchestra of the Court Theatre; yet at the same time he was a musical enthusiast whose passion for music was carried to the most extravagant lengths. Nature has endowed him with a just and delicate feeling for the beautiful in tonal art, and though he possessed no great fund of technical knowledge, he was able to criticize every composition with much acumen, and, so to say, anticipate the judgments of the musical world.

"As soon as young Beethoven appeared for the first time, Krumpholz attached himself to him with a persistence and devotion which soon made him a familiar figure in his home, so that he practically spent nearly the hole day with him, and Beethoven, who ordinarily was most reticent with everyone regarding his musical projects, told Krumpholz about all his ideas, played every new composition for him time and again, and improvised for him every day. Although Beethoven often poked fun at the unfeigned ecstasies into which Krumpholz invariably fell, and never called him anything but his jester; yet he was touched by this attachment, which led him to affront the bitterest enmities in order to defend his cause against his adversaries, so numerous in those days. For at that time Beethoven's compositions were totally misunderstood by the general public, and all the followers of the old Mozart-Haydn school opposed them with the most intense animosity.

"This was the man for whom, day by day, I had to play Beethoven's works, and although he knew nothing of piano playing, he was, quite naturally, able to tell me a great deal about their tempo, interpretation, effects, characteristics, etc., since he often heard them played by Beethoven himself, and in ost cases had been present when they came into being. His enthusiasm soon infected me and before long I, in turn, was a Beethoven worshipper like himself, learned all that Beethoven had written by heart, and, considering my years, played it with skill and enthusiasm. Krumpholz also invariably told me about the new things Beethoven had "under pen," and would sing or play on his violin the themes he had heard in Beethoven's home during the forenoon. Owing to this circumstance I was always informed at a much earlier date than others with regard to what Beethoven had under way. Later this made it possible for me to realize how long, often for years at a time, Beethoven polished his compositions before they were published, and how in new works he used motives which had occurred to him many years before, because our friendly relations with Krumpholz were maintained over a long period of years up to his death, which took place in 1817.

"I was about ten years old when Krumpholz took me to see Beethoven. With what joy and terror I greeted the day on which I was to meet the admired master! Even now this moment is vividly present in my memory. It was a winter's day when my father, Krumpholz, and I took our way from Leopoldstadt (where we were still living0 to Vienna proper, to a street called der tiefe Graben (the Deep Ditch), and climbed endless flights to the fifth and sixth story, where a rather untidy looking servant announced us to Beethoven and then admitted us. The room presented a most disorderly appearance; papers and articles of clothing were scattered about everywhere, some trunks, bare walls, hardly a chair, save the wobbly one at the Walter fortepiano (then the best), and in this room was gathered a company of from six to eight persons, among them the two Wranitsky brothers, Süssmayr, Schuppanzigh and one of Beethoven's brothers.

"Beethoven himself wore a morning coat of some longhaired, dark gray material, and trousers to match, so that he at once recalled to me the picture in Campe's 'Robinson Crusoe,' which I was reading at the time. His coal black hair, cut a la Titus, bristled shaggily about his head. His beard-he had not been shaved for several days-made the lower part of his already brown face still darker. I also noticed with that visual quickness peculiar to children that he had cotton which seemed to have been steeped in a yellowish liquid, in his ears.

"At that time, however, he did not give the least evidence of deafness. I was at once told to play something, and since I did not dare begin with one of his own compositions, played Mozart's great C major Concerto, the one beginning with Chords. Beethoven soon gave me his attention, drew near my chair, and in those passages where I had only accompanying passages played the orchestral melody with me, using his left hand. His hands were overgrown with hair and his fingers, especially at the ends, were very broad. The satisfaction he expressed gave me the courage to play his Sonata pathetique, which had just appeared, and finally his 'Adelaide,' which my father sang in his very passable tenor. When he had ended Beethoven turned to him and said: 'The boy has talent. I will teach him myself and accept him as my pupil. Send him to me several times a week. First of all, however, get him a copy of Emanuel Bach's book on the true art of piano playing, for he must bring it with him the next time he comes,' Then all those present congratulated my father on this favourable verdict, Krumpholz in particular being quite delighted, and my father at once hurried off to hunt up Bach's book."" (Thayer: 226-28; [siehe auch: Cooper: 103] ).

Here, we might best add a comment of Czerny on Beethoven as a piano teacher, and we take this comment from Thayer, as well:  

"In teaching he laid great stress on a correct position of the fingers (after the school of Emanuel Bach, which he used in teaching me); . . . " (Thayer: 60-61).

With respect to Beethoven's predilection for C.P.E. Bach and with respect to his willingness to take on the task of teaching Czerny, Barry Cooper comments as follows:  

"Also noteworthy is Beethoven's preference for C.P.E. Bach's keyboard treatise Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen, which had appeared as long ago as 1753.  He had probably used this himself while studying with Neefe, since little else was then available.  By 1800 there were a few alternatives, notably Daniel Gottlob Türk's Clavierschule (1789), but Beethoven continued to prefer Bach's treatise, and still did so in 1809 when preparing teaching material for Archduke Rudolph.  Beethoven's willingness to instruct Czerny, even 'several times a week', indicates that his general distaste for teaching was not as wholehearted as some reports suggest, and that he was prepared to make an exception for a boy of such amazing talent; but one can easily imagine his impatience with any pupils who lacked ability" (Cooper: 103-104).

However, let us first consider the time frame of this first encounter as Czerny related it to us.  According to his own report, he was about ten years old when he was introduced to Beethoven.  Let us consult Beethoven research what it has to say to that.  With respect to this, Barry Cooper writes:  

"Czerny was introduced by their common friend the violinist Wenzel Krumpholz, and in 1842 he [Czerny] wrote a detailed account of this initial encounter:  

. . . 

The account is interesting for several reasons, and some of its details are corroborated by other evidence.  Beethoven was living in Tiefer Graben from about January 1800 to the spring of 1801, and so the meeting could have taken place in either winter; but early 1801 is most likely, since Czerny was then 'about ten' (his birthday was in February).  True, the Pathetique had been published in December 1799, but viewed from the perspective of 1842 it could reasonably be said that it 'had just appeared' when Czerny visited Beethoven.  Beethoven was living on the third floor, but there would normally be two flights of stairs for each story, and so Czerny's reference to the 'sixth storey' indicated that he counted individual flights of stairs" (Cooper: 103). 

Cooper's detailed comments on Czerny's reports point towards the possibility that Czerny was introduced to Beethoven in the winter of 1801.  This indication, in turn, enables us to look at the general life circumstances of Beethoven during that time.  Let us first look at Thayer's relevant comments from his chapter on the year 1801: 

 "The tone of Beethoven's correspondence and the many proofs of the untiring industry during the winter 1800-1801 and the early part of the succeeding spring, suggest a mind at ease, rejoicing in the exercise of its powers, and a body glowing with vigorous health.  But for his own words to Wegeler: "I have been really miserable this winter," the passing allusions to ill health in his replies to Hoffmeister's letters would merely impress the reader as being half groundless apologies for lack of punctuality in writing. . . . " (Thayer: 268).

However, ". . . with that visual quickness peculiar to children", Czerny had noticed that Beethoven had  hatte jedoch Czerny bemerkt, dass Beethoven "cotton which seemed to have been steeped in a yellowish liquid, in his ears" to which Barry Cooper comments:

"Czerny's evidence about Beethoven's ears is especially significant.  The deafness had not yet become apparent to others, but some must have been aware, like Czerny, that Beethoven was having some kind of ear trouble.  it seems that the problem became considerably worse during 1801-2 (perhaps partly because of the various treatments), for it was during that period that Beethoven felt obliged to withdraw from society" (Cooper: 103).

Those of you who want to look into this topic more closely, we refer to our Biographical Pages.

Continuing with our chronological pursuit of the topic on hand, we might note that, in the spring of 1801, Beethoven had moved from the Tiefen Graben to lodgings at the Wasserkunstbastei (Thayer: 280) and that, during the summer of this year, he stayed at Hetzendorf (Thayer: 280).  We also know that in the summer of 1801, Beethoven wrote to his friends Amenda and Wegeler.  In his letter of June 29, 1801 to Wegeler, he also discusses Ferdinand Ries: 

 -- wegen Rieß[16], den mir herzlich grüße, was seinen sohn angelangt, will ich dir näher schreiben, obschon ich glaube, daß um sein Glück zu machen Paris besser als vien sey,[17] Vien ist überschüttet mit Leuten, und selbst dem Bessern Verdienst fällt es dadurch hart, sich zu halten -- bis den Herbst oder bis zum Winter werde ich sehen, was ich für ihn thun kann, weil dann alles wieder in die Stadt eilt -- "

" -- regarding Rieß[16] to whom I ask you to convey my sincere greetings, with respect to his son, I will write more to you, although I believe that, in order to make his fortune, Paris would be better than Vienna,[17] Vienna is crowded with people, and even the more meritous individuals find it hard to survive--I will see what I can do for him, in the fall and in winter, since then, everybody will hurry back to the city--"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 1, Letter No. 65, p.  78 - 83; ]

[Original: Koblenz, Sammlung Wegeler; to [16]:  refers to Franz Anton Ries [1755 - 1846], the father of Ferdinand Ries [1784 - 1838]; to [17]: refers to the fact that Ries, regardless of Beethoven's 'warning', arrived in Vienna, towards the end of 1801].

Whatever the course of Czerny's lessions with Beethoven was in the year 1801, towards the end of this year, he had to share his teacher with a new student.  With respect to Ries' lessons with Beethoven, Thayer has Ries report: 

"When Beethoven gave me a lesson I must say that contrary to his nature he was particularly patient.  I was compelled to attribute this and his friendly disposition, which was seldom interrupted, chiefly to his great affection and love for my father. . . . " (Thayer: 295).

As we know from our Biographical Pages, it was Franz Anton Ries who, in 1787, came to the aid of the Beethoven family after the death of Magdalena van Beethoven, and most likely also after the death of Beethoven's father, in the winter of 1792/1793.  To what extent this sense of obligation towards the Ries family that Beethoven must have felt, was also reflected in his acceptance of Ries as his student and to  what extent his treatment of that student might have been different from his treatment of Czerny, can not be determined with certainty, and we should certainly refrain from embellishing this topic with our own assumptions.  Perhaps, it would be best if we allow Czerny to comment on his encounter with Ries, himself:   

"I often played on two fortepianos with Ries," says Czerny, "among other things the Sonata, Op. 47, which had been arranged for two pianofortes.  Ries played very fluently, clear but cold"[27: From O. Jahn's posthumous papers]" (Thayer: 295).

Relying on Czerny's Erinnerungen (of 1842). Charles K. Moss, M.M.Ed., M.Mus. reports on the Czerny page of his web site,  auf der Czerny-Seite seiner Website (, that:

"Czerny describes his lessons with Beethoven as consisting of scales and technique at first, then progressing through the Versuch with Beethoven's major emphasis placed on legato technique throughout. The lessons stopped at some point before 1803, because Beethoven needed to concentrate for longer periods of time on composition, and because Czerny's father was unable to sacrifice his own lessons in order to take his son to Beethoven. Nevertheless, Czerny remained on close terms with Beethoven, who asked him to proofread all his newly published works, and Beethoven entrusted Czerny with the piano reduction of the score of his only opera, Fidelio, in 1805" (Carl Czerny: Teacher and Composer,, cited on March 17,  2003).


What does Czerny, himself, have to report with respect to this year?  Let us quote him (from Thayer) and let us also read Thayer's comment to it: 

"A remark of Czerny's is as follows: (34: See Kerst, 1, p. 57) "When the French were in Vienna for the first time, in 1805, Beethoven was visited by a number of officers and generals who were musical and for whom he played Gluck's Iphigenia in Tauris from the score, to which they sang the choruses and songs not at all ill. I begged the score from him and at home wrote out the pianoforte score as I had heard him play it. I still have his arrangement (November, 1852). From that time I date my style of arranging orchestral works, and he was always wholly satisfied with my arrangements of his symphonies, etc."

A lad who, though not yet fifteen years old, was able to write a pianoforte score of such an opera after a single hearing, certainly deserved the testimonial to his talent which, though written by another hand, was signed at the time by Beethoven and sealed. The testimonial, in the possession of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, runs as follows:

We, the undersigned, cannot withhold from the lad Carl Czerny, who has made such extraordinary progress on the pianoforte, far surpassing what might be expected from a boy of fourteen years, that for this reason, and also because of his marvellous memory, he is deserving of all possible support, the more since his parents have expended their fortune in the education of this promising son.

Vienna, December 7, 1805.

Ludwig van Beethoven (Seal)

The master had early and wisely warned him against a too free use of his extraordinary memory. Czerny writes: "My musical memory enabled me to play the Beethovenian works by heart without exception, and during the years 1804-1805 I was obliged to play these works in this manner at Prince Lichnowsky's once or twice a week, he calling out only the desired opus numbers. Beethoven, who was present a few times, was not pleased. 'Even if he plays correctly on the whole,' he remarked, 'he will forget in this manner the quick survey, the a vista playing and, occasionally, the correct expression.'"" (Thayer: 391).  

Czerny's report is also interesting insofar as it provides us with an impression of how he spent the years that followed his studies with Beethoven. 

Thayer's next comment relates to the year 1812 and refers to Czerny's performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto, op. 73: 

"Beethoven has surely earned the right to retire and leave the virtuoso field to his pupils, of whom Baroness Ertmann and Carl Czerny were preeminent as performers of his music. In the more private concerts he had already long given place to the Baroness; and now Czerny began to take it before the public, even to the extent of introducing his last new composition for pianoforte and orchestra, Op. 73. Theodor Körner, lately arrived in Vienna, writes home under date February 15, 1812: "On Wednesday the 11th, for the benefit of the Society of Noble Ladies for Charity, a concert and tableaux, representing three pictures by Raphael, Poussin and Troyes as described by Goethe in his 'Elective Affinities,' were given. The pictures offered a glorious treat; a new pianoforte concerto by Beethoven failed" (Thayer: 526).

From Thayer's comment we can see that, in 1812, Czerny had developed from an occasional arranger of Beethoven's works into an interpreter of his piano works, what does not mean, however, that he abandoned his successful assistance in the arrangement(s) of Beethoven's works.  Thayer's report from the year 1815 confirms this: 

"The correspondence with Steiner & Co. indicates that the task of arranging the orchestral works for the pianoforte was performed by Haslinger and Anton Diabelli, with occasional assistance from Carl Czerny, under Beethoven's superintendence" (Thayer: 627).

The year 1816 should provide an opportunity for Czerny to become available to Beethoven, in yet another capacity.  




With respect to this new role, we should, first, try to establish a time frame for orientation purposes.  In May, 1824, Czerny would write to Beethoven: 

"Die 15 besten Jahre meines lebens habe ich, um meine Eltern und mich anständig zu nähren, dem Unterrichtgeben hingeopfert; . . . " ("The best 15 years of my life I have sacrificed to giving lessons, in order to provide for a decent living for my parents and for myself"; Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 5, Letter No. 1839, p. 325-326).

Relying on Czerny's comment and counting back, according to his own statement, this would mean that, at least from 1809 on, he had been working as a piano teacher.  However, research in this area contends that he might have begun to give lessons as early as in 1805.  Thus, in the year 1816, Czerny would already have been able to look back at about ten years of experience as a piano teacher.  On the other hand, we already know from our Biographical Pages that, in February 1816, Beethoven sent his nephew Carl to Giannatasio's boarding school.  Thayer reports on how Czerny comes into play, here: 

"Beethoven having obtained possession of his nephew and placed him in Giannatasio's institute, very naturally took measures that he should have systematic instruction in music; to this end he employed Carl Czerny as teacher, and to him we now turn for information on this point.(22: The principal contributions to Beethoven's biography from Czerny's pen are in Schmidt's Wiener Allg. Mus. Zeitung, 1845, No. 113; Cock's Musical Miscellany (London, 1852); and manuscript noted in Jahn's papers (TDR, IV, 46, n. 2.) Czerny writes: "In the year 1815 [1816] at his request I began teaching his nephew Karl, whom he had already adopted, and from that time I saw him almost daily, since for the greater part of the time he brought the little fellow to me" (Thayer: 679). 

A result of this close relationship was that Beethoven frequently sent notes to Czerny.  These notes provide us with a lively impression of their relationship.  We want to present this 'correspondence' here as uninterruptedly as possibel (with the excpetion of providing explanations on particular details): 

 "Beethoven an Czerny

                                                              "[Wien, 12. Februar 1816][1]

lieber Z. Heute kann ich sie nicht sehn, morgen werde ich selbst zu ihnen kommen, um mit ihnen zu sprechen -- ich plazte gestern so heraus, Es war mir sehr leid, als es geschehen war, allein dies müßen sie einem autor verzeihen, der sein werk lieber gehört hätte gerade, wie er's geschrieben, so schön sie auch übrigens gespielt.--

ich werde das aber schon bey der violonschell Sonate laut wieder gut machen,[2] seyn sie überzeugt, daß ich als künstler das gröste wohlwollen für sie hege, u. mich bemühen werde, ihnen immer zu bezeigen. --

ihr wahrer Freund


Für Herrn von <Sch>Zerni Berühmten Virtuosen"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                                     "[Vienna, February 12, 1816][1]

dear Z. Today I can not see you, tomorrow I will come to you, myself in order to speak with you--yesterday, I burst out, I was very sorry, after it had happened, alone, you must excuse an ahuthor who would have preferred to hear his work as he has written it, as beautifully, as you have played, otherwise.-- 

however, I will remedy that publicly at the Violoncello Sonata,[2] be convinced that I have the greatest regard for you as an artist and will always try to show myself in such a manner towards you.  

your true friend


For Herr von <Sch>Zerni Famous Virtuoso"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 902, p. 228]

[Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter was written after the farewell concert of February 11, 1816; to  [2]: refers once more to the farewell concert of the cellist Joseph Linke, in which Czerny, according to the Gesamtausgabe, had to play the piano part in both Cello Sonatas, Op. 102; details taken from p.  228].

These lines by Beethoven should be supplemented by Thayer's comment:

"Linke's departure with the Erdödys to Croatia was noted in the last chapter; he returned to Vienna in the autumn of 1815 in seaon to enable Schuppanzigh to begin his winter seaon of quartets in November. They were given in the hall of the hotel "Zum Römischen Kaiser," and had now ended. So, too, had ended the engagement of Schuppanzigh, Weiss and Linke with Razumovsky. The destruction of his palace, the approach of old age, and failing sight, induced him now to dismiss them with suitable pensions from his service. Schuppanzigh went to Russia; Linke returned to the Erdödys and Weiss remained in Vienna. Before their departure the first two gave each a farewell concert. Schuppanzigh's took place in the palace of Count Deym, the programme being made up entirely of Beethoven's works, vz: Quartet in C major, Op. 59, No. 3; Quintet for Wind instruments and Pianoforte, Op. 16, Carl Czerny, pianist; and the Septet, Op. 20. Beethoven "entered at the beginning of the quartet" and shared the deafening applause of the crowded audience."(12: See the LpzAMZ, xviii (1816), p. 197)

Concerning this concert Czerny relates the following: "When once, for instance, I played the Quintet with Wind-Instruments with Schuppanzigh, I permitted myself, in a spirit of youthful carelessness, many changes, in the way of adding difficulties to the music; the use of the higher octave, etc.-Beethoven quite rightly took me severely to task in the presence of Schuppanzigh, Linke and the other players. The next day I received the following letter from him, which I copy carefully from the original draft:

"Dear Czerny!

Today I cannot see you, but tomorrow I will call on you myself to have a talk with you.-I burst forth so yesterday that I was sorry after it had happened; but you must pardon that in a composer who would have preferred to hear his work exactly as he wrote it, no matter how beautifully you played in general.-I shall make amends publicly at the Violoncello Sonata. Be assured that as an artist I have the greatest wishes for your success and will always try to show myself-

Your true Friend Beethoven."

"This letter did more than anything else to cure me of the desire to make changes in the performances of his works, and I wish that it might have the same influence on all pianists." (13: Allgemeine Wiener Musik-Zeitung, September 26, 1845: Czerny notes that he was to play the Violoncello Sonata, Op. 69, with Linke, the next week."

"Linke's concert took place on the 18th of February in the hall of "Zum Römischen Kaiser," the programme, exept a Rondoletto for the Violoncello by Rosenberg, being also entirely Beethoven. Stainer von Felsberg played "a new Pianoforte Sonata,"(14: Lpz. AMZ, op, cit: "A new pianoforte sonata by the master, heard here for the first time, surprised all of his numerous admirers." Which sonata was played is unclear; Schindler (Biogr., I, pp. 240-241) identifies it specifically as Op. 101, but the date of the autograph of this sonata is November, 1816. In his correspondence Beethoven mentioned it for the first time in a letter to Härtel dated July 19, 1816 (A 542). Frimmel (FRBH, ii, pp. 242-43) believes that the sonata played was Op. 90) and Czerny the pianoforte part of the Violoncello Sonata, Op. 69, on which occasion the composer "made amends publicly."  . . . " (Thayer: 640-641).

However, let us continue to feature the original texts of Beethoven's notes to Czerny, along with our own translations into English, and along with notes from the Gesamtausgabe: 

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                                 "[Wien, um den 12. Februar 1816][1]

lieber Bester Z. ein unvorhergesehnes Hinderniß ließ es nicht zu, sie abzuhohlen, heute um 3 uhr aber komme ich ganz gewiß u ihnen, u. wir gehn dann gleich in's Institut.

ihr wahrer Freund


Für Hrn. von Zherny berühmten virtuosen"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                             "[Vienna, around the 12th of February, 1816][1]

dear, best Z. an unforeseen hindrance did not allow me to pick you up, however, today I will certainly come to see you at 3 o'clock, and then we will go to the Institute, right away. 

your true friend


For Hrn. von Zherny famous virtuoso"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 903, p. 228-229]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (A84/12); to [1]: refers to the fact that on February 2, 1816, Beethoven enrolled his nephew in Giannatasio's institute and that he arranged for Czerny to give him piano lessons, which took place at the institute up to August of that year, when the institute was relocated from the inner city to the Landstraße suburb; detail taken from p. 229].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                                 "[Wien, Februar/März 1816][1]

Mein lieber Czherny!

   Ich bitte sie, dem Karl so viel als möglich mit Geduld zu behandeln, wenn es auch jezt noch nicht geht, wie sie u. ich es wünschen, er wird sonst noch weniger leisten, denn, (ihn darf man das nicht wißen laßen), er ist durch die übele Austheilung der Stunden zu sehr angespannt, leider läßt sich das nicht gleich ändern, aber begegnen sie ihm so viel als möglich mit Liebe jedoch ernst, Es wird alsdenn auch beßer gelingen bey diesen wirklich ungünstigen Umständen für K. -- in Rücksicht seines spielens bey ihnen bitte ich sie ihn, wenn er einmal den gehörigen Fingersaz nimmt, alsdenn im Takte richtig wie auch die Noten ziemlich ohne Fehler spielt, alsdenn erst ihn in Rücksicht des Vortrages anzuhalten, u. wenn man einmal so weit ist, ihn wegen kleinen Fehlern nicht aufhören zu laßen, u. selbe ihm erst beym Ende des Stücks zu bemerken; obschon ich wenig Unterricht gegeben, habe ich doch immer diese Methode befolgt, sie bildet bald Musiker, welches doch am Ende schon einer der ersten zwecke der Kunst ist, u. ermüdet Meister u. schüler weniger; -- bey gewissen Passagen wie [Notenbeispiel] etc. wünsche ich auch zuweilen alle Finger zu gebrauchen bey d.g. [Notenbeispiel] etc damit man d.g. schleifen könnte, freylich klingen d.g. wie man sagt >>geperlt (gespielt mit wenigen Fingern) oder wie eine Perle<< allein man wünscht auch einmal ein anderes Geschmeide-- auf ein andermal mehr -- ich wünsche, daß sie alles dieses mit der Liebe aufnehmen, mit Welcher ich ihnen es nur gesagt u. gedacht wissen will, ohnehin bin ich u. bleibe ich noch immer ihr schuldner--möge meine Aufrichtigkeit überhaupt ihnen zum Unterpfand der künftigen Tilgung derselben, so viel als mir möglich dienen. --

ihr wahrer Freund


"Beethoven to Czerny

                       "[Vienna, February/March 1816][1]

My dear Czherny!

   I ask you to treat Karl as much as possible with patience, even if things are not moving along as you and I wish, otherwise, he will even perform worse, since, [one may not let him know that] due to the very unfortunate distribution of lessons he is too stressed, unfortunately, this can not be changed, right away, but, as much as possible, treat him with love, but also seriously, then it will be better in these really unfortunate circumstances for K.--with respect to his playing I ask you--once he has attained the correct fingering and can also play in time and once he reads the notes without without too many mistakes--to draw his attention to matters of interpretation only then, and once he has developed that far not to stop him on account of slight mistakes and to point these out to him at the end of a piece; although I have given few lessons, I have always followed this method, it soon creates musicians which, in the end, is one of the foremost purposes of art, and it tires both master and pupil less; -- with respect to certain passages [note sample], sometimes, I wish to use all fingers, as for example in [note sample] so that these could be played in a gliding manner; of course, these passages then sound >>pearly<< [played with few fingers] or >>like a pearl<<, yet, at times, other jewels are desirable;--more, some other time--I wish that you receive all of this with the love with which I want to have told it to you and with which I want to have it received, in any event, I am and still remain your debtor--may my sincerity serve you as a pledge for future payment, as far as possible. --

your true friend


[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Volume No. 912, p. 237 - 238]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/14]; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter must have been written at the beginning of Czerny's lessons; detail taken from p. 238].           

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                                                     [Wien, März 1816][1]

Mein lieber Z! geben sie dieses gefälligst ihren Eltern für das neuliche Mittagessen.  ich kann dieses durchaus nicht umsonst annehmen -- auch verlange ich ihre lectionen nicht umsonst, selbst auch die schon gegebnen sollen verrechnet u. ihnen werden bezahlt werden, nur bitte ich Sie in diesem Augenblick Geduld zu haben, indem von der wittwe noch nichts zu fordern ist,[2] u. ich große Ausgaben hatte u. habe -- allein es ist nur geborgt für diesen Augenblick. -- Der Kleine kommt heute zu ihnen, u ich später auch --

                                                                   ihr Freund Beethoven"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                                                  [Vienna, March 1816][1]

My dear Z! please give this to your parents for the recent lunch. In no way can I accept it for free -- I am also not asking for your lessons to be for free, even those that have already been given shall be accountant for and paid, I only ask you for a little patience, at this time, since nothing can be asked from the widow, yet[2] and since I had and still have a great deal of expenses  -- alone, it is only borrowed for the moment.--The little fellow will come to see you, today, and I will follow later, as well-- 

                                                                   your friend Beethoven"


[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 918, p. 245]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/13]; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter must have been written in the first time of Czerny's piano lessons that he gave Karl van Beethoven; to  [2]: refers to the fact that Johanna van Beethoven's situation had not been clarified, yet; details taken from p. 245].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                                     [Baden, Sommer 1816][1]

   lieber Z.[erny] verzeihen sie, Sie mit diesem Briefe zu belästigen, ich weiß Z.[meskalls][2] No nicht.-- ich bitte sie selben sogleich Z.[meskall] zukommen zu machen. --

   ich bin wie immer noch ihr tiefer Schuldner

                                                                     L.v. Beethoven

An Seine wohlgebohrn Hr. Karl v. Czerny in Vien

<in der Krugerstraße 1068 in [d]er* Krugerstraße im 1-ten Stock auf der [...en]* Stiege"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                                     [Baden, summer 1816][1]

   dear Z.[erny] please excuse if I bother you with this letter, I do not know  Z's.[meskalls][2] No.-- I ask you to have it delivered to  Z.[meskall] right away. --

   as always, I am still deeply in your debt

                                                                     L.v. Beethoven

To His well-born Hr. Karl v. Czerny in Vienna

<in the Krugerstraße 1068 in [t]he* Krugerstraße on the 1-st floor on the [...en]* stair"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, p. 266-267]

[Original:  London, British Library; to [1]: refers to the fact that in this letter, Beethoven's letter No. 939 to Zmeskall was included; to  [2]: refers to the completion of this name pursuant to Beethoven's Letter No. 941; details taken from p. 266-267].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                  [Wien, wohl zwischen Februar und August 1816][1]

Für heute lieber Czerny gehn sie nicht zu Karl, da unß etwas vorgefallen, jedoch übermorgen hofft er sie ganz gewiß zu sehn, so wie ich - nächstens besuche ich Sie --

Indessen ihr Dankbarer Freund


"Beethoven to Czerny

             [Vienna, probably between February and August 1816][1]

For today, dear Czerny, do not go to Karl, since something has happened to us, but the day after tomorrow, he hopes to see you again, for sure, as do I -- I will visit you, soon-- 

In the meanwhile, your grateful friend


[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 962, p. 286]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/27]; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter belongs into the period in which Czerny gave Karl v. Beethoven piano lessons at the Giannatasio institute; detail taken from p. 286].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                      [Wien, wohl zwischen Februar und August 1816][1]

lieber Cherny Karl ist bey mir, befindet sich aber nicht wohl, ich ersuche Sie daher heute doch zu mir zu kommen, da ich ohnehin wegen den Stunden im Institut mit ihnen reden muß. --

ihr ergebenster

                                                                     ludwig van Beethoven

Hr. von Cherny"

"Beethoven to Czerny

             [Vienna, probably between February and August, 1816][1]

dear Cherny Karl is with me, but he is not well, I ask you therefore to visit me, still today, since I have to talk to you with respect to the lessons at the institute, in any event.--  

your most devoted

                                                                     ludwig van Beethoven

Hr. von Cherny"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 963, p. 286-287]

[Original: Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/18]; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter, see Letter No. 962; detail taken from p. 287].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                                [Wien, Oktober 1816][1]

lieber Z. wenn Sie heute können, ersuche ich Sie gegen Ein uhr zu mir zu kommen, damit Karl nicht zu zehr zurückbleibe.[2] --

ihr ergebenster

                                                          ludwig van Beethoven"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                                 [Vienna, October 1816][1]

dear Z. toda, if you can, I ask you to come to me at one o'clock, so that Karl will not fall back, too much.[2] --

your most devoted

                                                          ludwig van Beethoven"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 989, p. 312-313]

[Original: Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/10]; to [1]: refers to the fact that this message must have been written a few weeks after Karl's hernia operation; to [2]: refers to the piano lessons by Czerny; details taken from p. 313].

"Beethoven an Czerny[1]

[Wien, zwischen Anfang November 1816 und September 1817][2]

laßen Sie Karl gegen 8 uhr schon fortgehn, da mein Diener früh wieder zu Hause seyn muß. --

                                                                              ihr l.v. Beethoven"

"Beethoven to Czerny[1]

[Vienna, between the beginning of November 1816 and September 1817][2]

let Karl leave already at eight o'clock, since my servant has to be at home, early.--

                                                                             your l.v. Beethoven"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 994, p. 318]

[Original: Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/29]; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter, probably pointed out by the numbering through Carl Fedinand Pohl, belongs to a mass of letters by Beethoven to Czerny; to [2]: refers to the fact that, perhaps since about the beginning of November 1816, there had been reached an agreement that Karl was to receive lessons in Czerny's apartment and not in the institute; details taken from p. 318].

"Beethoven an Czerny:

                                                               [Wien, November 1816][1]

Lieber CZ!

   sagen sie mir gefälligst, wann sie Abends an dem Tage, wo sie Karln Unterricht geben, nach Hause kommen, sie geben im manchmal noch über eine Stunde, so viel ich höre für welche Gefälligkeit ich ihnen nicht genug zu danken weiß, Unterdeßen macht es mit dem schicken wieder einige neue Umstände, Es ist also nöthig zu wißen ob sie um halb 7 oder um 7 uhr nach Hause kommen, u. ich bitte Sie mir dieses zu beantworten, übrigens aber nur nicht das mindeste deswegen, was ihnen bequem wäre, zu verändern. -- am besten würde es seyn, wenn sie, sobald sie können, wieder hinausgehn,[2] dieses nur vorläufig, wir werden schon noch näher darüber Reden.

ihr wahrer Freund


An Seine Wohlgebohrn H.[errn] v. Czerny

NB: Im Falle sie mein Brief nicht trift, werde ich diesen Nachmittag um eine Antwort schicken."

"Beethoven to Czerny:

                                                               [Vienna, November 1816][1]

Dear CZ!

   be so good and tell me when you will arrive at home on the day on which you are to give Karl lessons, as I hear, you sometimes give him an additional lesson of a half hour, a favor for which I can not thank you enough, in the meantime, his being sent to you poses some problems, again, therefore, it is necessary to know whether you arrive at home at six thirty or at seven, and I ask you to let me know about this, yet, not in the least on account of what might be convenient to you with respect to a change.--It would be best if you would go out again, as soon as you can,[2] and that only for the time being, we shall certainly discuss this some more. 

your true friend


To his Well-born H.[err] v. Czerny

NB: In the event that my letter should not reach you, I will send for an answer, this afternoon." 

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 1002, S.325]

[Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus,  Bodmer Collection; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter; to [2]: refers to yet another change in venue with respect to the lessons, thus, very likely, from Czerny's apartment back to the Giannatasio institute, but now in the Landstraße suburg; details taken from p. S. 325].

"Beethoven an Czerny[1]

                                     [Wien, vielleicht Dezember 1816][2]

Lieber SZerny

   Sollte es vieleicht möglich seyn, daß sie diesem Menschen, den ich hier schicke, den Klawier-stimmer u. verfertiger von Baden[3] nicht ein<en> B<ige[n] Beystand leisten könnten, um Seine Instrumente zu verkaufen, die in ihrer Art niedlich u. doch nicht ohne Festigkeit gebaut sind. --

in Eil ihr Freund u. Diener

                                                                 l.v. Beethowen

An Seine wohlgebohrn h.[errn] v. Szerny"

"Beethoven to Czerny[1]

                                     [Vienna, perhaps in December 1816][2]

Dear SZerny

   Might it, perhaps, be possible that you could offer some suport to the man that I am sending to you, the piano tuner and builder from Baden[3], in his efforts of selling a few instruments, which, in their kind, are quite nice, but not without being also solidly built.-- 

in haste your friend and servant 

                                                                 l.v. Beethowen

To His Well-born h.[err] v. Szerny"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 1027, p. 351]

[Original: Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/16]; to [1]: refers to the fact that, up to this time, Joseph Czerny had been considered to have been the recipient of this letter, but pursuant to the Gesamtausgabe, the recipient might  rather have been Carl Czerny; to [2]: refers to the kind of paper and, consequently, to the dating of the letter in the period of 1816/1817; to [3]: very likely refers to August Riedl, a Baden piano maker; details taken from p.  351].

"Beethoven an Czerny

               [Wien, zwischen Dezember 1816 und März 1817][1]

Ermahnen Sie gefälligst den Musikalischen Kreiß[2[ mir noch einmal das nöthige in Rücksicht der Börse aufzuschreiben, ich werde schriftlich, mündlich dafür mich bey ihm bedanken -- Morgen Frühe will ich versuchen deswegen wieder zu ihnen zu schicken. --

                                                     ihr Freund Beethoven

Hr. v. Czerni Wohlgebohrn"

"Beethoven to Czerny

               [Vienna, between December 1816 and March 1817][1]

Be good enough to remind the Musical Circle[2[ to write down for me again the necessary details with respect to the stock market, I will thank him for it in writing and in person--Tomorrow morning, I shall try to send to you with respect to it.-- 

                                                     your friend Beethoven

Hr. v. Czerni Well-born"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 1033, p. 356]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/11]; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter, based on the seal; to [2]: refers to the fact that it is not clear who might be meant here, perhaps the circle of visitors of Czerny's weekly house concerts; details taken from p. 356].

"Beethoven an Czerny[1]

                                                          [Wien, 1816/17][2]

Mein lieber Z! wenn sie heute Zeit haben, soll der Kleine[3] gegen Ein uhr zu ihnen kommen.[4] -- später werde ich ihn abholen, u. sie bitten, daß sie mit mir speisen.

ihr ergebenster

                                                          l.v. Beethowen"

"Beethoven to Czerny[1]

                                                          [Vienna, 1816/17][2]

My dear Z! if you have time today, the little fellow[3] should come to see you at One o'clock.[4] -- later, I shall pick him up and I shall ask you that you should have dinner with me. 

your most devoted

                                                          l.v. Beethowen"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Band 3, Brief Nr. 1038, S. 359]

[Original:  New York, Steven Lubin; to [1]: refers to the "Z", which, in 1816, Beethoven also used for Czerny; to [2]: refers to the dating of the letter; to [3]: refers to Beethoven's nephew Karl; to [4]: refers to the piano lessons by Czerny; details taken from p. 359].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                                      "[Wien, 1816/17][1]

lieber Czerny!

   Ich bitte sie bey giannattasio nichts von demjenigen zu sprechen, der den Tag, als Sie mir das Vergnügen machten, bey mir zu seyn, mit unß speiste, er hat sich dieses verboten, mündlich einmal über die Ursache hievon -- ich hoffe ihnen meinen dank für die Geduld, welche sie mit meinem Neffen haben, besonders abstatten zu können, ohne daß ich mich so schon immer ihr schuldner rechnen muß. --

in Eil ihr Freund

                                                               l.v. Beethowen

Für Hr. v. Czerny"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                                      "[Vienna, 1816/17][1]

dear Czerny!

   I ask you not to mention anything to the Giannatatios about the person who had dinner with us on the day on which you gave us the pleasure of dining with us, he has asked for this restriction, more about this, some time, in person--I hope that I will be able to repay the patience you show my nephew, in a special way, even though I can already consider myself in your debt.-- 

in haste your friend

                                                               l.v. Beethowen

For Hr. v. Czerny"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 1039, S. 359]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/15]; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter; detail taken from p. 359].

 "Beethoven an Czerny

                                                   [Wien, wohl 1816/17][1]

Hier ist alles von Stimmen u. Partitur.[2] -- die noch nicht corrigirten Stimmen müßen nachgesehn werden, da sie schnell kopirt, so finden sich gewiß viele Fehler darin. --

in Eil ihr Freund


Hr. v. Czerny wohlgeb."

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                                   [Vienna, probably 1816/17][1]

Here is everything of the parts and the score.[2]--the not yet corrected parts have to be reviewed, since they have been copied quickly and certainly contain many errors.-- 

in haste your friend


Hr. v. Czerny well-born"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 1041; p. 360-361]

[Original: Vienna, Gesellschaft der Muskfreunde [A84/19]; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter; to [2]: possibly refers to Op. 68; details taken from p. 360-361].

 "Beethoven an Czerny

                                                              [Wien, wohl 1816/17][1]

Herr von Czerni!

   Haben sie die Güte mir die <Sinf>Partitur von der Pastoral-Sinfonie[2] Heute oder Morgen höchstens wieder zu geben, da ich sie brauche. --

                                                               Ludwig van Beethoven"

 "Beethoven to Czerny

                                                    [Vienna, probably 1816/17][1]

Herr von Czerni!

   Be good enough to return the score of the <sinf> Pastoral sinfony[2] to me today or, at the latest, tomorrow, since I need it.-- 

                                                               Ludwig van Beethoven"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 1042; p. 361]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/20]; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter; to [2]: refers to Op. 68; details taken from p. 361].

 "Beethoven an Carl Czerny[?][1]

                                                   [Wien, vermutlich 1816/17][2]

Die Partitur Von der Sinfonie in Es.[3]

                                                                      von Beetowen"

"Beethoven to Carl Czerny[?][1]

                                                   [Vienna, probably 1816/17][2]

The score of the Symphony in E-flat.[3]

                                                                      von Beetowen"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briewechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 3, Letter No. 1050, p. 365]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/17]; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter, according to the Gesamtausgabe, has been preserved with a group of letters of Beethoven to Czerny; to  [2]: refers to the time period in which these lines have, very likely, been written, in the event that the recipient is correct; to [3]: refers to Op. 55; details taken from p. 365].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                             [Wien, um den 9. Januar 1817][1]

Lieber Zerni!

   Ich bitte Sie morgen früh bey mir zu frühstücken, jede Stunde wird das Früstück bereit seyn, ich habe mit ihnen notwendig zu reden, u. bitte sie den Klawier auszug der Sinfonie in F mitzubringen,[2] ich würde zu ihnen kommen, allein eben die Stunden, wo sie bey sich sind, kann ich am allerwenigsten kommen.

                                                      ihr Freund Beethoven

an Seine Wohlgebohrn Hrn. v. Zerni"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                [Vienna, about the 9th of January, 1817][1]

Dear Zerni!

   I ask you to have breakfast at my house, tomorrow morning, it will be ready, any time, I have to talk to your, urgently and I ask you to bring along the piano reduction of the Symphony in F-Major,[2] I would come to see you, alone the hours in which you are at home are hours at which I can come to see you, the least.  

                                                      your friend Beethoven

to His Well-born Hrn. v. Zerni"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 4, Letter No. 1062, p. 9]

[Original:  Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; to [1]: refers to a possible connection of this letter to Letter No. 1063 to Sigmund Anton Steiner; to [2]: refers to the fact that, of Op. 93, Czerny had prepared a piano reduction for two pianos and to the fact that he had revised the piano reduction for two hands, by Haslinger, detail taken from p. 9].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                          [Wien, 30. Juni 1817][1]

Bester H.[err] v. Czerny!

   Ich war die vorige woche bey ihnen, u. hinterließ ihnen den Betrag von 12 fl., nun erinnere ich mich nicht, ob ich ihnen dieses für die 2 Vergangenen Wochen, oder für die <eine>letzte vergangene u. jezige woche da gelaßen habe, ich bitte sie mir daher gefälligst anzuzeigen, wie die sache sich verhält?  vilen Dank für ihre Mühe mit Karl meinem lieben Neffen

in Eil ihr Freund 

                                                   l.v. Beethowen

Für Hr. v Czerny am <29>30ten Juni"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                          [Vienna, the 30th of June, 1817][1]

Best H.[err] v. Czerny!

   I went to your place last week and left the amount of 12 fl., but now I can not remember if I have left it for the past 2 weeks or for the last week and for this week, therefore, I ask you to kindly let me know these details.  Many thanks for your trouble with my dear nephew Karl

in haste your friend 

                                                   l.v. Beethowen

For Hr. v Czerny on the <29>30th of June"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 4, Letter No. 1134, p. 25 -26]

[Original: Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: refers to the addition of the year, based on the water mark; detail taken from p. 25-26].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                                    [Wien, November 1817][1]

Dem Herrn Herrn v Czerny[2]

Landstraße Gartengaße No 26 2-ter STock 1-te Stiege. --

   die Zeit war zu kurz, um sie lieber Czerny früher einzuladen"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                                    [Vienna, November 1817][1]

To Herr Herr v Czerny[2]

Landstraße Gartengaße No 26 2-nd storey 1-st level. --

   the time was too short in order to invite you, dear Czerny, sooner"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 4, Letter No. 1195, p. 130]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [A84/24]; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter in November 1817; to [2]: refers to the fact that the name had been inserted by another hand, in ink; details taken from p. 130].

The notes to Beethoven letter to Czerny that was written around February 12, 1816, Letter No. 903, refer to Beethoven's enrolment of his newphew Karl at the boarding school of the Giannatasios and to his engaging Czerny as Karl's piano teacher during Karl's attendance of this school.  From our Biographical Pages we know that Karl left this boarding school at the beginning of 1818, in order to be tutored by a private teacher to prepare him for his Gymnasium entrance exam.  Since Czerny's lessons he gave Karl took place during this time period, it is also understandable that Beethoven's notes to Czerny, as far as they have been preserved, mainly fell into the period of spring 1816 to late 1817.  

With respect to Czerny's role as Karl's piano teacher, Beethoven's letter of February/March 1816 (Letter No. 912) is, of course, of particular interest, since in it, he asked Czerny to be patient with his pupil and also explains to him how he would proceed in such a case, while most of his notes to Czerny deal with arrangements for these lessons and other details, yet they also express Beethoven's gratitude towards Czerny and his awareness of being his debtor with respect to the payment for these lessons.  

Of course, not all of Beethoven's notes deal with Czerny's role as Karl's piano teacher.  Thus, for example, in his letter of December 1816 (Letter No. 1027), Beethoven asks Czerny to support the Bade piano maker August Riedl, while his Letter No. 1033 of winter 1816/1817 points out that Beethoven was also familiar with Czerny's private house concerts at the home of his parents and even had some contact with these.   

With respect to this, Solomon notes:  

"They [the connoisseurs] gathered at the homes of Carl Czerny, the Ertmanns, the Streichers, and elsewhere, to perform and to hear his piano and chamber music.  Beethoven himself sometimes participated in these private concerts.  Czerny remembered that "in the years from 1818 to 1820 I organized concerts by my pupils every Sunday in my lodgings; they played to quite a select audience, and Beethoven was usually present; he still improvised even then, and did so several times for us; everyone was deeply stirred and moved."(91:  Czerny, Proper Performance, p. 16)" (Solomon: 251).

Also at approximately this time, Czerny helped Beethoven with the arrangement of his Op. 68 (see letter 1041 from about 1816/17), and Beethoven's Letters No. 1050 of 1816/17 and No. 1062 from about January 9, 1817 point towards a similar situation with respect to Op. 55 and Op. 93 (in this case, Czerny revised Haslinger's arrangement), which again points towards the fact that Czerny's services as arranger of Beethoven's works had remained in demand. 



In the years 1819-1824, Beethoven and Czerny were also 'linked' by a 'compositional bond', namely the variations on a waltz by Diabelli that the latter had initiated.  With respect to this, Thayer and Cooper report:  

"Anton Diabelli, a partner in the firm of Cappi and Diabelli, invited a number of composers to contribute a variation on a waltz theme of his own for a collection to be entitled Vaterländischer Künstlerverein ("Native Society of Artists"). The invitations were presumably made in 1819 since the autograph of Carl Czerny's variation (in the Vienna National Library) is dated "March 1821."(63: See Heinrich Rietsch, "Fünfundzwanzig Variationen über Diabellis Waltzer," in BJ, 1 (1908), p. 31)" (Thayer: 853).

"The idea for the Variations originated with the composer Anton Diabelli . . . Some of the invitations may not have been sent immediately, for several composers did not contribute until 1824 or 1824, but the earliest dated variation is by Beethoven's former pupil Carl Czerny, whose manuscript is dated 7 May 1819.  Czerny seems to have been closely involved in the project, for it was he who provided a massive coda when the collaborative collection was finally published in 1824.  Thus Diabelli's initial invitation was probably circulated not long before 7 May 1819 . . ." (Cooper: 270). 

Beethoven's 'more substantial' contribution should, however, be dealt with in a separate creation history.  

With respect to Beethoven's and Czerny's direct interation in the years 1818 - 1823, not many particulars have been preserved, and that neither in biographical literature nor in preserved correspondence, while, in 1823, a quite differently gifted piano pupil than Beethovens nephew would bring Carl Czerny back into focus for us.   With respect to this, we should first present Thayer's report:  

"On April 13, 1823, the boy Franz Liszt, who was studying with Carl Czerny and had made his first public appearance on the first day of the year, gave a concert in the small Redoutensaal. A few days earlier, he along with his father was presented to Beethoven by Schindler. There is an entry in a Conversation Book which, because of the handwriting and courtly language, was probably written by the father:

I have often expressed the wish to Herr von Schindler to make your high acquaintance and am rejoiced to be able now to do that. As I shall give a concert on Sunday, the 13th I most humbly beg you to give me your high presence.(55: Schünemann III, p. 170).

The day before the concert, Schindler writes in a Conversation Book:

Little Liszt has urgently requested me humbly to beg you for a theme on which he wishes to improvise at his concert tomorrow. [Some words crossed out] humilime dominationem Vestram, si placeat scribere unum Thema---

He will not break the seal till the time comes.

The little fellow's free improvisations cannot yet, strictly speaking, be interpreted as such. The lad is a true pianist; but as far as improvisation is concerned, the day is still far off when one can say that he improvises.

Czerny Carl is his teacher.

Just eleven years.

Do come, it will certainly amuse Karl to hear how the little fellow plays.

It is unfortunate that the lad is in Czerny's hands---

After a brief change of subject Schindler returns to the conversation about Liszt:

Won't you make up for the rather unfriendly reception of the other day by coming tomorrow to little Liszt's concert?

It will encourage the boy. Will you promise me to come? (56: Ibid, pp. 134-36)

According to Nohl who got the story from Liszt himself, Beethoven did attend the concert, went afterwards upon the stage, lifted up the prodigy and kissed him.(57: Ludwig Nohl, Beethoven, Liszt and Wagner (Vienna, 1814), p. 199. (TDR, IV, 417, n. 2). Schindler's references to Liszt in his biography are unreliable since on the question of Beethoven's attendance at the concert he contradicts himself, claiming in the second edition (1845) that Beethoven was there and in the third edition (1860) that he was not. Schindler's increasing disapproval of Liszt appears to explain the contradiction. Liszt's own account of the meeting to his pupil, Ilka Horowitz-Barnay, which was made in 1875, the last year of his life, must also be used with caution because of the inaccuracies in detail. Frimmel believed that Nohl's account was essentially correct. See Beethoven Studien, II, pp. 93-105. Also Gerth Baruch, "Liszt und Beethoven" in Monthly Musical Record, Vol. 66 (1936), p. 176). - At the concert, however, the theme upon which he improvised was not one by Beethoven but a rondo theme of some 20 measures. According to the reviews the improvisation did not please.(58: Schünemann, III, p. 135, n. 1)" (Thayer: 846 -848

Thus, with respect to Beethoven's interaction with Czerny we have at least an indication that the latter's student, Franz Liszt and his father, Adam Liszt, visited Beethoven in April, 1823.  However, as to whether Beethoven was actually present at Liszt's concert on April 13, 1823, can not be determined with certainty.  

With respect to this, Cooper notes:

"During the composition of the first three movements of the Ninth, which took until about September 1823, Beethoven was beset by the usual range of personal and musical concerns.  Among the admirers who visited him that year, perhaps the most notable was an eleven-year-old boy--Franz Liszt.  Liszt, a child genius like Beethoven, had moved to Vienna in 1821 and was currently having piano lessons from Beethoven's former pupil Carl Czerny.  Liszt invited Beethoven to attend his forthcoming piano recital on 13 April, and years later he claimed that Beethoven had done so, and had kissed him afterwards as a mark of approval.  There is conflicting evidence, however, about whether Beethoven did in fact attend (and several of Schindler's conversation entries on the subject, quoted by Thayer, are suspicious)" (Cooper: 308).


In spring of the following year, Beethoven sent the following request to Czerny: 

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                               [Wien, 21. Mai 1824][1]

Lieber Czerny!

   Erzeigen sie mir die Gefälligkeit übermorgen im großem Redouten Saale das adagio u. Rondo von meinem Konzert in Es zu spielen,[2] Sie werden dadurch <meine> die ganze Akademie verschönern --

  da die chöre zu wenig eingeübt sind, ist es nicht thunlich mehr als eine von den Hymmnen aufzuführen.[3] -- ich hoffe, daß Sie mir meine Bitte nicht abschlagen. --

wie immer ihr Freund


Für Seine wohlgeborhn H.[errn] Karl v. Czerny"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                               [Vienna, 21st of  May, 1824][1]

Dear Czerny!

   Do me the favor of playing the adagio annd Rondo of my Concerto in E-flat the day after tomorrow in the great Redouten Saal, [2] with it, you will grace <my> the entire >>academy<<--

  since the choirs have not practiced enough, it is not prudent to perform more than one of my hymns.[3] -- I hope that you will not refuse me my requests.--

as always your friend


For His Well-born H.[err] Karl v. Czerny"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 5, Letter No. 1838, p. 324-325]

[Original:  Bonn, Beethoven-Haus; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter; to [2]: refers to Op. 73 and its 2nd and 3rd movement; to  [3]: refers to the fact that at the academy of May 7th, the Kyrie, Credo and Agnus dei from the der Missa solemnis had been performed, and at the academy of May 23, 1824, only the Kyrie; details taken from p. 325].

Czerny replied immediately, as this draft shows:

"Czerny an Beethoven (Briefentwurf)

                                                   [Wien, 21. Mai 1824][1]

Verehrtester Hr v Beethoven

   Ihr Wunsch, <dessen> der mich so hoch ehrt als ich nicht auszudrücken vermag, nöthigt mich mit all der Offenheit, mit welcher der Mann zum Manne sprechen muß Ihnen meine Gesinnungen so wie meine Verhältnisse darzulegen.  Die 15 besten Jahre meines lebens habe ich, um meine Eltern und mich anständig zu nähren, dem Unterrichtgeben hingeopfert;[2] Composition und<besonders> Spiel blieben Nebensache da es mir an aller Aufmuntrung und Erleichtrung fehlte, und besonders das letztre, [das Spiel] konnte bey den Fordrungen die man jetzt an die Virtuosen macht, unmöglich in dem Grade kultivirt werden den man von meinen Fähigkeiten zu erwarten so gütig ist.  Und nun soll ich, -- nach dem ich seit 14 Jahren außer aller <Übung> Übung bin vor dem großen Kennerpublikum Wiens aufzutreten,[3] plötzlich, ohne alle Vorbereitung, kaum 2 Tage zum Exerzieren Zeit habend,[4] -- Eine der größten Compositionen von Ihnen produzieren! und noch dazu in dem gefährlichsten Lokale das für den Claviristen existirt! der große Redutensaal ist für dieß Instrument der <gefährlich>undankbarste Ort, und alle Klavierspieler, die bis jetzt in demselben spielten haben es bereut.

   Übrigens ists nicht die Rücksicht auf mich selbst, sondern die gegründete Furcht das ich Ihr hohes Werk, in diesem kurzen übereilten Zeitraum von kaum 2 vollen Tagen unmöglich so vollendet vortragen kann, als meine unbegrenzte Achtung vor Ihnen <und Ihren> mir vorschreibt, -- die Ursache die mich nöthigst auf diese Auszeichung zu resigniren.


   Um als Virtuose aufzutreten brauche ich wenigstens 3 Monathe Zeit mein Mechanisches wieder völlig einzuüben -- die größten Claviristen unsrer Zeit opfern die Gesundheit und <ihr ganzes Leben> ihre ganze Existenz diesem Zwecke, und fühlen sich glücklich wenn <Sie> sie dann der Kritik nur einigermassen Genüge leisten.  Indem ich überzeugt bin daß ich mich Ihrer Freundschaft durch nichts würdiger machen kann als eben durch diese Offenheit, die nicht mir, sondern der Kunst und der guten Sache zum Vortheil gereichen soll verharre ich"

"Czerny to Beethoven (Draft)

                                                   [Vienna, the 21st of May, 1824][1]

Most Revered Hr v Beethoven

   Your wish which honors me as highly as I can not express, forces me to explain my views and my circumstances with all that openness with which a man has to speak to another man.  I have sacrificed the best 15 years of my life to giving lessons in order to provide a decent living for my parents and for myself;[2] Composition and<particularly> playing remained side issues since I was lacking all encouragement and support, and particularly the latter, [the playing], considering the demands that are now put on virtuosos, could not be cultivated to that degree that one is so gracious to expect of my abilities. And now I am supposed to,--after I have been out of practice for 14 years, appear before the great connoisseurs, the Viennese audience,[3] to suddenly, without any preparation, hardly having 2 days' time for rehearsing,[4]--present one of the greatest Compositions of yours! and, at that, in the most dangerous venue that exists for the pianist!  the great Redoutensaal is the most unfavorable venue for this instrument, and all pianists that have played there, so far, have regretted it.

   By the way, it is not for my sake but well-founded fear that I can impossibly perform your high work in this hasty time frame of 2 days in such a way as my boundless respect for you commands me,--this is the cause that necessitates my declining this high privilege.


   In order for me to appear in public as a virtuoso, I would require at least 3 months' time in order to practice my technical capabilities completely and thus regain them--the greatest pianists of our time sacrifice their health and their entire lives to this purpose, and they consider themselves fortunate when they are able to satisfy their critics to some extent. In being convinced that I can not no better justice to your friendship than by being this candid, that shall not only be to my advantage but also to that of art and of the good cause, I remain"  

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 5, Letter No. 1839, p. 325-326]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [Czerny 65]; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter is seen as Czerny's reply to Beethoven's Letter No. 1838 and that this reply must have been written on the same day; to [2]: refers to the fact that in 1824, Czerny was 34 years old and that he had begung to give lessons already at the age of 15 years; to [3]: in the Gesamtausgabe a certain inability to understand Czerny's unwillingness to fulfill Beethoven's wish, finds expression and in this context, it is referred to Czerny's performance of Aprl 12, 1818 in the small Redoutensaal, and it is also referred to AMZ 20 (1818), Sp. 389; to [4]: this refers to Beethoven's academy concert of May 23, 1824 at which Czerny was supposed to perform].

After Czerny's proud, sensitive and self-protective reply, Beethoven's tone in his next communication of the fall of 1824 should be seen in an appropriate light: 

"Beethoven an Czerny

                        [Baden, möglicherweise Ende September 1824][1]

Mein lieber werther Czerny!

   Ich erfahre in diesem Augenblicke, daß sie in einer Lage sind, die ich wirklich nie vermuthet habe, mögten Sie mir doch vertrauen schenken, u. mir nur anzeigen, worin vieleicht manches für sie beßer werden kann, [ohne alle gemeine Protectionssucht] von meiner Seite] sobald ich nur wider Athem holen kan, muß ich sie sprechen, seyn sie versichert, daß ich sie schätze, u. ihnen dieses jeden Augenblick bereit bin durch die That zu beweisen

mit wahrer Achtung ihr Freund 


Für Seine wohlbevohrn Hr. Karl v. Czerny"

"Beethoven to Czerny

                        [Baden, possibly at the end of September 1824][1]

My dear, worthy Czerny!

   In this moment, I have learned that you are in a position that I really never suspected, would that you had confided in me and let me know in what way I might, perhaps, help to improve some things for you [without all over-eagerness of common protectionism], as soon as I can catch my breath, I have to speak to you, rest assured that I value you and that I am prepared to prove this to you at any time, with my actions 

with true respect your friend 


For his well-born Hr. Karl v. Czerny"

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 5, Letter No. 1886, p. 374 - 375]

[Original: Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, [A84/72]; to [1]: refers to the dating of the letter by means of the water mark; detail taken from p. 375].

"Beethoven an Czerny

                                             [Baden, 8. Oktober 1824]

Mein werther Czerny!

   Unendlichen Dank für Ihre mir bezeigte Liebe.  Mein Bruder hat leider vergessen, Sie zu bitten, um den 4 händigen Clavier auszug der Ouverture.  In dieser Rücksicht hoffe ich, Sie schlagen es mir nicht ab, auch noch diesen über sich zu nehmen.[1]

   Ich sehe aus der Geschwindigkeit, womit sie diesen Clavierauszug gefördert haben, daß es Ihnen auch keine Mühe machen wird, auch den andern baldmöglichst zu vollenden.

  Leider wurde die Sache durch meinen Bruder in die Länge gezogen, wodurch denn nun Alles über Hals und Kopf gehn muß.

   Ich bin meinem Bruder eine Summe schuldig, wofür er diese Ouverture, und einige andre Werke erhalten hat;[2] dieß ist der Grund, warum er dabey ins Spiel kommt. -- Ich bitte Sie übrigens, mir anzuzeigen, was für ein Honorar, Sie für beyde Clavierauszüge verlangen; ich werde es Ihnen mit Vegnügen zustellen.

   Von dem Wunsche, Ihnen dienen zu können, habe ich Sie schon längst unterrichtet,[3] wo also ein solcher Fall eintritt, übergehn Sie mich ja nicht, da ich allezeit bereit bin, Ihnen meine Liebe, Dankbarkeit und Achtung zu bezeigen.

Wie immer Ihr Freund


Baden freytags den 8 Octbr 1824.


   Da ich glaubte, daß es Ihnen lieb seyn könnte, den schon vollendeten Clavierauszug bey Verfertigung des 4händigen zu benützen, so habe ich ihn mit beygelegt.

An seine Wohlgeboren Herrn Carl Czerny in Wien.  Krugerstraße Nro 1006. 1. Stock."

"Beethoven to Czerny

                                             [Baden, 8th of  October, 1824]

My worthy Czerny!

   Infinate thanks for your love shown to me.  Unfortunately, my brother has forgotten to ask you for the Piano reduction of the Overture, for 4 hands.  In this regard I hope that you will not refuse me to also take this on, yourself. [1]

   From the speed with which you have produced this Piano reduction, I see that it will not be any trouble for you to also complete the other one, as soon as possible.

  Unfortunately, the matter had been dragged out by my brother, on account of which everything now has to go in haste.

   I owe my brother a sum, for which he has received this Overture and a few other works;[2] this is the reason why he comes into play here.--By the way, I ask you to let me know what fee you are asking for both Piano reductions; I will send it to you, with pleasure.

Of my wish to be of service to you I have already advised you, a long time ago,,[3] thus where such a case is ocurring, do not overlook me, since, anytime, I am ready to show you my love, gratitude and respect.

As ever your friend


Baden on Friday the 8th of Octbr 1824.


   Since I thought that you might like to use the already completed Piano reduction for the preparation of the piano reduction for four hands, I have enclosed it.

To his Well-born Herr Carl Czerny in Vienna.  Krugerstraße No 1006. 1st floor."

[Source: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 5, Letter No. 1895, p. 381-382]

[Original:  Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [a84/25]; to [1]: refers to the piano reductions for two and four hands of Op. 124; to  [2]: refers to the fact that Beethoven had given the ownership rights of Op. 121b, Op. 122, Op. 124, Op. 126 and Op. 128 to his brother; to [3]: possibly refers to Letter No. 1886; details taken from p. 382].

With respect to Op. 124, Czerny subsequently corresponded with the Leipzig publisher Problst, in March, 1825, as follows: 

 "Carl Czerny an Heinrich Albert Probst in Leipzig

Herrn H A Probst in Leipzig

                                                             Wien, 7. März 1825

Geschätzter Freund!

   Hr Hagener, durch den ich Ihren letzten Brief vom 13ten Janner 1825 erhielt,[1] hatte zwar die Güte mir ihn selber zu überbringen; aber leider in einer Stunde wo ich nicht zu Hause war.  Er sprach meine Mutter, welche ihm genau die Zeit bestimmte, wann ich zu Hause anzutreffen.  Aber da er seitdem uns gar nicht mehr besucht hat u ich also gar nicht seine persönliche Bekanntschaft machen konnte, so muß ich vermuthen daß er bald wieder Wien verlassen hat.  Ich hätte ihn gerne gesprochen da ich ihm manches, Ihnen vielleicht Interessantes mitzutheilen gehabt hätte.

   Meine so gehäuften Lekzionsgeschäfte nehmen mir jetzt alle Zeit.  Beethoven sah ich schon seit mehrern Monathen nicht, wie ich überhaupt nur zufällig mit ihm zusammentreffe. Im Monath November vorigen Jahres, schickte er mir plötzlich und unerwartet die große Fest Ouverture in C[2], von der Sie im Manuscript der Partitur, mit der Bitte, selbe für ihn sowohl für P[iano]f[forte] allein als zu 4 Händen schleunigst zu übersetzen, was ich denn auch aus hoher Achtung für den Meister so schnell u gut als mir möglich, that.  Ich war sehr erstaunt, kurz darauf durch Ihren Brief vom ? Dezember 1824 zu erfahren daß diese Ouverture bereits in Berlin erschienen sey.[3] Ich halte dieß Werk für eins seiner gelungenen Meisterwerke, u wenn, wie Sie mir schreiben, dasselbe nicht anspricht, so muß es nur eine mangelhafte vielleicht ganz incorrekte Übersetzung daran Schuld seyn.  Ist man in Berlin auch auf direktem Wege dazu gekommen?  Beynahe sollet ich das Gegentheil vermuthen da Beethoven, als er seyn Mnscrpt übersandte, wohl nichts davon zu wissen schien.[4] Daß Beethovens Werke im ersten Augenblick selten übersehen u verstanden werden können, hat uns lange Erfahrung gelehrt, u gerade die, anfangs scheinbar unverständlichsten bewähren sich durch die Zeit als die vorzüglichsten.  Doch muß man sie sorglich auch vortragen können, wozu ein Studium gehört das man selbst bey manchen Virtuosen vermißt.

   Bald, recht bald hoffe ich Ihnen einiges Gute u Zweckmässige von mir selbst zu übersenden.  Jetzt kommt mit dem Frühling bald auch für mich wieder einige Musse.

Bis dahin verbleibe ich Ihr freundschaftlichst ergebner

                                                              Carl Czerny

Wien Herrn Herrn H.A. Probst Musick Verleger in Leipzig"

"Carl Czerny to Heinrich Albert Probst in Leipzig

To Herr H A Probst in Leipzig

                                                     Vienna, the 7th of March, 1825

Esteemed friend,

   Hr Hagener, through whom I have received your last letter of January 13, 1825,[1] has shown me the kindness to deliver it to me, himself, unfortunately, however, at an hour at which I was not at home.  He spoke to my mother who let him know the precise time when I could be found at home. However, since he has not visited us, ever since, I have to assume that he left Vienna again, very soon.  I would have liked to speak to him since I would have had many things to tell him that might, perhaps, have been of interest to you.

   My lesson business that is piled up is taking up a lot of my time, at the moment.  I have not seen Beethoven, for several months, as I, in any event, only meet him by coincidence.  In the month of November of last year, all of a sudden and unexpectedly, he sent me the great festival Overture in C[2], <of which you> in the manuscript form of the score, with the request to convert the same for him both for P[iano]f[forte] alone as well as for 4 hands, which I then, out of great respect for the Master, did as quickly as I could.  I was very astonished to learn from your letter of  ? December 1824 that this Overture was supposed to have already been published in Berlin.[3] I consider this work to be one of his well-written masterowrks, and when you wrote me that the same did not please, then only an inadequate, perhaps entirely incorrect version can be blamed for that. Did one come by this version directly, in Berlin?  I would almost assume the contrary, since, when he sent [me] his manuscript, he did not seem to know anything about it.[4]  That, at first, Beethoven's works are seldom appreciated and understood, experience has taught us, and precisely those works that appear to be the most incomprehensible, at first, prove themselves over time as the most excellent ones.  However, one also has to play them carefully, which requires study, which one even misses with some virtuosos.

Soon, very soon, I hope to send you something good and useful of my own.  With spring, there will also come some leisure, for me.  

Until then, I remain, in friendship, your devoted 

                                                              Carl Czerny

Vienna to Herr Herr H.A. Probst Music Publisher in Leipzig"

[Sourcee: Ludwig van Beethoven Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, Volume 6, Leter No. 1945; p. 37-38]

[Original:  Photocopy of the Autograph; Location of original not known; to [1]: refers to the fact that this letter has not been preserved; to [2]: refers to Op. 124; to [3]: refers to the piano reduction for four hands of Op. 124 by Carl Wilhelm Henning, which had been published in the late fall of 1824, by Trautwein, in Berlin; to [4]: refers to Letters No. 1920 and Nr. 1923; Details taken from p.  38].

With respect to the final publication of Op. 124, Barry Cooper has this to note:

"Beethoven's health was still uncertain, and he was ill in bed for several days after returning to Vienna in early November [1824].  . . .  He had not sent the works promised to Probst, for he had agreed to supply piano-solo and piano-duet arrangements of the Overture, and these had to be prepared by Czerny.  . . .  Meanwhile Johann, noting that all these works for Probst were technically his property, felt that they had been sold too cheaply for 100 ducats, and decided they should be offered to Schott's for 130 ducats.  Obtaining an agreement between the two brothers and a publisher, each with different interest, inevitably took time; but eventually in February 1825, Schott's received all the works for 130 ducats: . . . the Overture Die Weihe des Hauses (Op. 124) and Czerny's arrangement of it; . . .  Probst received merely an apologetic letter from Beethoven, explaining that he had tried unsuccessfully to persuade Johann not to undermine the previous agreement, and offering one or two string quartets (not yet written) to compensate.  Probst, however, had by now lost interest in obtaining anything from him" (Cooper: 321-322).

Czerny's only lines to Beethoven that are known to us, namely those of May, 1824, will still be in on our minds and also Beethoven's lines to Czerny of the fall of 1824, in which Beethoven expressed his willingness to assist Czerny.   As Thayer reports with repsect to the summer of 1825, Beethoven continued to show interest in Czerny's progress: 

"Czerny spent some time in Baden. From his written entries it is apparent that he was urged by his erstwhile teacher to get an appointment and to compose in the larger forms. Beethoven was curious to know how much Czerny received from his compositions and Czerny told him that he attached no importance to his pieces, because he scribbled them down so easily, and that he took music from the publishers in exchange" (Thayer: 956).

That Czerny's interaction with Beethoven continued into the fall of this year is shown by this report from Thayer: 

"Friday, September 9th . . . There was a numerous assembly of professors to hear Beethoven's second new manuscript quartette, bought by Mr. Schlesinger. This quartette is three quarters of an hour long. They played it twice. The four performers were Schuppanzigh, Holz, Weiss and Linke. It is most chromatic and there is a slow movement entitled 'Priase for the recovery of an invoalid.' Beethoven intended to allude to himself I suppose for he was very ill during the early part of this year. He directed the performers, and took off his coat, the room being warm and crowded. A staccato passage not being expressed to the satisfaction of his eye, for alas, he could not hear, he seized Holz's violin and played the passage a quarter of a tone too flat. I looked over the score during the performance. All paid him the greatest attention. About fourteen were present, those I knew were Boehm (violin), Marx ('cello), Carl Czerny, also Beethoven's nephew, who is like Count St. Antonio, so is Boehm, the violin player. The partner of Steiner, the music seller, was also there. I fixed to go to Baden on Sunday and left at twenty-five minutes past two. . . .

"Saturday, September 19th . . . I called for the music at Artaria's for Birchall, for which I paid, and on our return found a visiting card from Earl Stanhope and also from Schlesinger of Paris with a message that Beethoven would be at his hotel to-morrow at twelve, therefore of course I gave up going to Baden to visit Beethoven, which he had arranged for me to do. . . . In the morning Mr. Hirchoffer called to say he should invite me to his house. It was he who, through Ries, had the arrangement of procuring the Choral Symphony for our Philharmonic Society.

"Sunday, September 11th . . . From hence I went alone to Schlesinger's, at the 'Wilemann,' where was a larger party than the previous one. Among them was L'Abbe Stadler, a fine old man and a good composer of the old school, to whom I was introduced. There was also present a pupil of Moscheles, a Mademoiselle Eskeles and a Mademoiselle Cimia,(60: Presumably Antonia Cibbini, nee Kozeluch, who was among those who attended the performance of the quartet (CF. TDR, v. 245) whom I understood to be a professional player. When I entered Messrs. C. Czerny, Schuppanzigh and Linke had just begun the Trio, Op. 70, of Beethoven, after which the same performers played Beethoven's Trio, Op. 79(61: Undoubtedly Op. 97 which was published by Steiner. Artaria published the Op. 70 trios in Vienna)-both printed singly by Steiner. Then followed Beethoven's quartette, the same that I had heard on September the 9th and it was played by the same performers. Beethoven was seated near the pianoforte beating time during the performance of these pieces. This ended, most of the company departed, but Schlesinger invited me to stop and dine with the following party of ten: Beethoven, his nephew, Holz, Weiss, C. Czerny, who sat at the bottom of the table, Lincke, Jean Sedlatzek-a flute player who is coming to England next year, and has letters to the Duke of Devonshire, Count St. Antonio, etc.-he has been to Italy-Schlesinger, Schuppanzigh, who sat at the top, and myself. Beethoven calls Schuppanzigh Sir John Falstaff, not a bad name considering the figure of this excellent violin player" (Thayer: 961-962

Perhaps it is a good thing that this congenial report by Sir Charles Smart forms our 'second last' report on Beethoven's relationship with Czerny before we have to turn to our last report: 

"The ends of the pall (not the points) were taken by the eight Kapellmeister-to wit, Eybler, Hummel, Kreutzer, Seyfried on the right; Gänsbacher, Gyrowetz, Weigl, Würfel on the left-the honor escort of the sleeping master. They carried candles wrapped in crepe. On both sides of the coffin came the torchbearers: Anschütz, Bernard, Blahetka, Joseph Böhm, Castelli, Karl Czerny, David, Grillparzer, Konrad Graf, Grünbaum, Haslinger, Hildebrandt, Holz, Kaller, Krall, Lannoy, Linke, Mayseder, Meric, Merk, Mechetti, Meier, Paccini, Piringer, Rodicci, Raimund, Riotte, Schoberleschner, Schubert, Schickh, Schmiedl, Streicher, Schuppanzig, Steiner, Weidmann, Wolfmayer, and others, with lily bouquets adoring their shoulders. The torches were dedocated with flowers" (Thayer: 1054).

What Thayer's report refers to, should be clear to all of us. 





The mature Czerny 


After we have accompanied Czerny through his acquaintance with Beethoven during Beethoven's life time, we are faced with the question as to whether and in what way Czerny contributed to passing Beethoven's legacy on.  With respect to this, we refer again to the Dutch online Beethoven biography by Joyce Maier, but also to other sources that might provide us some insight into Czerny's passing on of Beethoven's legacy: 

1.  Czerny's 'Erinnerungen';

2. Czernys 'Richtige Art des Vortrags Sämtlicher Klavierwerke Beethovens'; ('On the Proper Performance of All Beethoven's Piano Works');

3.  Czerny's comments to Professor Otto Jahn of Bonn.

Here, as lay people, we should restrict ourselves to relate such comments and recollections from these sources as they have found their way into the works of Thayer and other important contemporary Beethoven researchers.  For a better chronological overview, we should proceed in such a manner as such comments are contained in the Thayers-Forbes version of 1964,   in chronological sequence, and to each topic that Thayer has Czerny comment, we should add relevant comments from the works of Solomon, Kinderman and Cooper (in the chronological order of the publication date of their works), but also their discussion of Czerny comments on topices that Thayer might not have discussed.    Perhaps, we should begin our exploration with two general comments on Czerny as a conveyor of Beethoven information:  

Solomon, xii: "Of the leading sources, it is my judgment that the reminiscences of Ignaz von Seyfried, Carl Czerny, Gerhard von Breuning, Fanny Gianntasio del Rio, and Karl Holz are generally trustworthy insofar as they reflect personal observations . . . " (Solomon: xii).

"Several other writers cited by Thayer, such as Friedrich Rochlitz, Johann Schenk, and Louis Schlösser, also now appear to have fabricated their anecdotes, while even Carl Czerny is often unreliable, especially in his dating of Beethoven's late works" (Cooper: ix).

After these general comments by Solomon and Cooper, we should venture into our chronological exploration:  

With respect to Beethoven's 'training' that his own father 'bestowed' upon him, Thayer renders this Czerny recollection:  

"Czerny also related that Beethoven had spoken to him of the harsh treatment and insufficient instruction received from his father. "But," he added, "I had talent for music" (Thayer: 79).

Let us add Solomon's comment to this: 

"He told his student, Carl Czerny, that he practiced "prodigiously," usually until well past midnight, perfecting the technique which was to mark him as one of the outstanding keyboard virtuosos of his day, testing and expanding his improvisatory powers, giving expression in his solitude to his luxuriant musical imagination, tapping creative currents which must have stirred their originator as deeply as they did his listeners in later years" (Solomon: 20). 

With respect to Ferdinand Ries' and Czerny's comment on Beethoven's recollections of Mozart's piano playing, Thayer reports the following: 

"Ries (Notizen, p. 86) says: "During his visit to Vienna he received some instruction from Mozart, but the latter, as Beethoven lamented, never played for him." That is, during the lessons which must have been confined consequently to theory. But according to a communication from Czerny to Otto Jahn, Beethoven had explained to him that he had heard Mozart play: "he had a but choppy (zerhacktes) way of playing, no ligato." Czerny adds that Beethoven played this way at first, treating the pianoforte like an organ" (Thayer: 88).

With respect to Beethoven's Variations on Righini's "Venni amore", Thayer reports: 

"The story of the encounter between Beethoven and Sterkel in which these variations ["Venni amore"] figure has also been told. Beethoven had a good opinion of them; Czerny told Otto Jahn that he had brought them with him to Vienna and used them to "introduce" himself" (Thayer: 125).

With respect to Beethoven's lessons with Salieri, Thayer reports: 

"This instruction began soon after Beethoven's arrival in Vienna and lasted in an unconstrained manner at least until 1802; at even a later date he asked counsel of Salieri in the composition of songs, particularly Italian songs. According to an anecdote related by Czerny, at one of these meetings for instruction Salieri found fault with a melody as not being appropriate for an air. The next day he said to Beethoven: "I can't get your melody out of my head." "Then, Herr von Salieri," replied Beethoven, "it cannot have been so utterly bad." The story may be placed in the early period; but it appears from a statement by Moscheles that Beethoven still maintained a friendly association with Salieri in 1809. Moscheles, who was in Vienna at this time, found a note on Salieri's table which read: "The pupil Beethoven was here!" (Thayer: 149).

Thayer also consults Czerny with respect to Beethoven's Berlin visit of the year 1796: 

"This king shared the love for music of his uncle, Frederick the Great, while his taste was better and more cultivated. His instrument was the violoncello, and he often took part in quartets and sometimes in the rehearsals of Italian operas. He exerted a powerful and enduring influence for good upon the musical taste of Berlin. It was he who cause the operas of Gluck and Mozart to be performed there and introduced oratorios of Handel into the court concerts. His appreciations of Mozart's genius, and his wish to attach the great master to his court, are well known; and these fasts render credible a statement which Carl Czerny closes a description of Beethoven's extemporaneous playing, contributed to Cock's London Musical Miscellany (August 2, 1852): "His improvisation was most brilliant and striking. In whatever company he might chance to be, he knew how to produce such an effect upon every hearer that frequently not an eye remained dry, while many would break out into loud sobs; for there was something wonderful in his expression in addition to the beauty and originality of his ideas and his spirited style of rendering them. After ending an improvisation of this kind he would burst into loud laughter and banter his hearers on the emotion he had caused in them. 'You are fools!' he would say. Sometimes he would feel himself insulted by these indications of sympathy. 'Who can live among such spoiled children?' he would cry, and only on that account (as he told me) he declined to accept an invitation which the King of Prussia gave him after one of the extemporary performances above described" (Thayer: 185).  

Also with respect to Mozart's Piano Concerto, K464, Kinderman relates the following comment by Czerny: 

"According to Czerny, Beethoven once exclaimed about Mozart's K464: "That's what I call a work!  In it, Mozart was telling the world: 'Look, what I could do for you if you were ready for it!' (5: On the Proper Performance of All Beethoven's Works for the Piano, p. 8" (Kinderman: 53).

In his chapters on the years 1798 and 1799, with respect to Beethoven's work on his Trio, Op. 11, Thayer also reports on details that Czerny related:

"Touching the history of the Trio, Op. 11, for Pianoforte, Clarinet and Violoncello, little is known. It was advertised as wholly new by Mollo and Co. on October 3, 1798, and is inscribed to the Countess Thun. Sketches for the first and second movements associated with other works that are unknown or were never completed are in the British Museum and set forth by Nottebohm in his Zweite Beethoveniana (p. 515). The sketch for the Adagio resembles the beginning of the minuet in the Sonata, Op. 40, No. 2, and is changed later; this points approximately to 1798. The last movement consists of a series of variations on the theme of a trio from Weigl's opera L'Amor marinaro, beginning "Pria ch'io l'impegno." Weigl's opera was performed for the first time on October 15, 1797. Czerny told Otto Jahn that Beethoven took the theme at the request of a clarinet player (Beer?) for whom he wrote the Trio. The elder Artaria told Cipriani Potter in 1797, that he had given the theme to Beethoven and requested him to introduce variations on it into a trio, and added that Beethoven did not know that the melody was Weigl's until after the Trio was finished, whereupon he grew very angry on finding it out. Czerny says in the supplement to his "Pianoforte School": It was at the wish of the clarinet player for whom Beethoven wrote this Trio that he employed the above theme by Weigl (which was then very popular) as the finale. At a later period he frequently contemplated writing another concluding movement for his Trio, and letting the variations stand as a separate work" (Thayer: 214).

Let us also look at Cooper's comment with respect to this: 

"The Clarinet Trio, P. 11, written shortly after the String Trios, can be dated fairly precisely, since the finale is a set of variations on the aria Pria ch'io l'impegno from the opera L'amor marinaro by Joseph Weigl, which was first published on 15 October 1797.  The Trio was published twelve months later, with a dedication to Countess Thun (Prince Lichnowsky's mother-in-law), having probably been completed early in 1798.  It is the only one of Beethoven's multi-movement instrumental works that contains a set of variations on a theme by another composer.  Although incorporating extraneous music into sonatas and similar works was quite common at the time, it was something Beethoven preferred to avoid, and he wished latter that he had written a different finale, wholly his own, according to Carl Czerny" (Cooper: 74).

Cooper also refers to Czerny's comments on Op. 18:

"The slow movement of the Quartet, Op. 18 No. 1, had a hidden programme, and Czerny states that some other movements did, too, claiming that the finale of the Piano sonata, Op. 31, No. 2, was sparked off by the sound of a galloping horse" (Cooper: 157).

"According to his pupil Carl Czerny and others, he actually did so [on poetic ideas in Op. 18/2] quite often, but the examples Czerny gives are not confirmed by any relevant comments amongst the sketches, and the references in these quartet sketches remain an isolated case" (Cooper: 81).

With respect to Beethoven's 'new path' and Czerny's comments on it, Solomon, Kinderman and Cooper comment as follows: 

"According to Czerny, it was soon after the composition of the Sonata in D major, op. 28, that Beethoven said to his friend Krumpholz: "I am only a little satisfied with my previous works.  From today on I will take a new path."(30: Czerny, On the Proper Performance of All Beethoven's Works for the Piano (Vienna: Universal, 1970), p. 13; Kerst, I, 46)" (Solomon: 107).

"The astonishing understatement of this comment about 'less lack of fantasy' is characteristic of Beethoven, and carries the same implication as Schiller's tenet about the unfulfilled nature of the artwork.  Already 25 years earlier Beethoven had expressed dissatisfaction with his previous works, and according to Carl Czerny, stated his intention to seek a 'new way', a claim borne out of the series of pathbreaking compositions from around 1802, the threshold of his so-called 'second period." (Kinderman: 11).

"Beethoven had also been consciously exploring new directions, according to Czerny, who reports that between the composition of the Sonata, Op. 28, and the three of Op. 31, Beethoven said, "I am not very well satisfied with the work I have thus far done.  From this day on I shall take a new way" (2: Sonneck, Impressions, 31; here, Czerny dates the conversation c. 1800, but in Proper Performance, 13, he dates it c. 1803" (Cooper: 122).

In the chapter on the year 1805, Thayer raises the question as to the 'progress' of Beethoven's loss of hearing and features comments by his contemporaries, such as Carl Czerny: 

"And his hearing-how was it with that?

A question not to be answered to full satisfaction. It is clear that the Notizen of Wegeler and Ries, the Biographie (first editions) of Schindler, and especially the papers from Beethoven's own hand printed in those volumes, have given currency to a very exaggerated idea of the progress of his infirmity. On the other hand, Seyfried as evidently errs in the other direction; and yet Carl Czerny, both in his published and manuscripts notices, goes even farther. For instance, he writes to Jahn: "Although he had suffered from pains in his ears and the like ever since 1800, he still heard speech and music perfectly well until nearly 1812," and adds in confirmation: "As late as the years 1811-1812 I studies things with him and he corrected with great care, as well as ten years before." This, however, proves nothing, as Beethoven performed feats of this kind still more remarkable down to the last year of his life. Beethoven's Lamentation, the testament of 1802, is one extreme, the statement of Seyfried and Czerny the other; the truth lies somewhere between" (Thayer: 373).

In the chapter on the year 1805, Thayer provides us with a comment by Czerny on Beethoven's piano improvisations: 

"Beethoven's improvisations (which which he created the greatest sensation in the first years of his sojourn in Vienna and even caused Mozart to wonder) was of the most varied kind, whether he was treating themes chosen by himself or set for him by others.

"1. In the first movement form of the final rondo of a sonata, when he regularly closed the first section and introduced a second melody in a related key, etc., but in the second section gave himself freely to all manner of treatment of the motivi. In Allegros the work was enlivened by bravura passages which were mostly more difficult than those to be found in his compositions.

"2. In the free-variation form, abut like his Choral Fantasia, Op. 80, or the choral finale of his Ninth Symphony, both of which give a faithful illustration of his improvisations in this form.

"3. In the mixed genre, where, in the potpourri style, one thought follows upon another, as in his solo Fantasia, Op. 77. Often a few tones would suffice to enable him to improvise an entire piece (as, for instance, the Finale of the third Sonata, D major, of Op. 10).

"Nobody equalled him in the rapidity of his scales, double trills, skips, etc.-not even Hummel. His bearing while playing was masterfully quiet, noble and beautiful, without the slightest grimace (only bent forward low, as his deafness grew upon him); his fingers were very powerful, not long, and broadened at their tips by much playing, for he told me very often indeed that he generally had to practise until after midnight in his youth.

" . . . His playing of the scores of Handel and Gluck and the fugues of Seb. Bach was unique, in that in the former he introduced a full-voicedness and a spirit which gave these works a new shape.

"He was also the greatest a vista player of his time (even in score-reading); he scanned every new and unfamiliar composition like a divination and his judgment was always correct, but (especially in his younger years) very keen, biting, unsparing. Much that the world admired then and still admires he saw from the lofty point of view of his genius in an entirely different light.

"Extraordinary as his playing was when he improvised, it was frequently less successful when he played his printed compositions, for, as he never had patience or time to practise, the result would generally depend on accident or his mood; and as his playing, like his compositions, was far ahead of his time, the pianofortes of the period (until 1810), still extremely weak and imperfect, could not endure his gigantic style of performance. Hence it was that Hummel's purling, brilliant style, well calculated to suit the manner of the time, was much more comprehensible and pleasing to the public. But Beethoven's performance of slow and sustained passages produced an almost magical effect upon every listener and, so far as I know, was never surpassed."(6: Ibid, pp. 60-61)" (Thayer:368-369

In the same chapter, Thayer has Czerny report on the premiere of the Third Symphony: 

"Czerny remembered, and told Jahn, that on this occasion "somebody in the gallery cried out: "I'll give another kreutzer if the thing will but stop!" . . . " (Thayer: 375).

Solomon refers to this Czerny comment on the 'Eroica':

"Czerny reported that the Eroica Symphony was "considered too long, elaborate, incomprehensible, and much too noisy," . . . "(2: Czerny, "Recollections," p. 311)" Solomon: 127).

In the chapter on the year 1806, Thayer also refers to Czerny's comment on the f-minor Piano Soanta, Op. 57: 

"Czerny says, very justly, of the unauthorized change afterwards(16:In 1838, in an arrangement for four hands published by Cranz in Hamburg) made in the title: "In a new edition of the Sonata in F minor, Op. 57, which Beethoven himself considered his greatest, the title 'Appassionata,' for which it is too great, was added to it. This title would be more fitly applied to the E-flat Sonata, Op. 7, which he composed in a very impassioned mood" (Thayer: 407).

Also Kinderman and Cooper comment on this Czerny reference:

"The title Appassionata, though not from Beethoven, is not inappropriate (though Czerny was surely correct in observing that the work is much too magnificent for the title)(13: On the Proper Performance of All Beethoven's Works for the Piano, p. 13" (Kinderman: 99).

"According to Beethoven's own account, the 'Appassionata' was finished by about the end of 1804, and Czerny states that Beethoven considered it his greatest sonata before the 'Hammerklavier'" (Cooper: 144).

On Op. 59, Thayer has Czerny comment as follows: 

"Czerny told Jahn that "when Schuppanzigh first played the Razumovsky Quartet in F, they laughed and were convinced that Beethoven was playing a joke and that it was not the quartet which had been promised" (Thayer: 409).

Kinderman and Cooper refer to Czerny's comments on this work, ass follows: 

"The third quartet [op. 59/3] contains no obvious quotations, but, as Riezler and Marion Scott have suggested, its melancholy slow movement may harbour a more elusive relationship with Russian style. (1: Riezler, Beethoven, p. 172, Scott, Beethoven, p. 256-7; Czerny, On the Proper Performance of All Beethoven's Works for the Piano, p. 13 . . . " (Kinderman: 108 + 108n).

"According to Czerny, the following Molto adagio (op.59/3) in E major occurred to Beethoven while he was contemplating the starry heavens, and thinking of the music of the spheres (5: Thayer-Forbes, 408-9)" (Kinderman: 111).

"According to Czerny, Beethoven conceived this movement when contemplating a starry sky, and certainly several other pieces referring explicitly to stars are in the same key (e.g. Leonore's aria 'Komm, Hoffnung')" (Cooper: 161).

With respect to the Violin Concerto, Op. 61, Cooper refers to Czerny's comment on it, as follows: 

"Far from resting on his laurels, however, Beethoven continued composing with great energy and before the end of 1806 had produced another masterpiece--the Violin Concerto in D (Op. 61).  In a letter to Breitkopf, dated 18 November 1806, there is no mention of this work, which implies it was barely begun; yet it was performed on 23 December, having been completed, according to Czerny, about two days before the performance" (Cooper: 162).

With respect to the Mass in C-Major, Cooper also refers to Czerny's comment on it: 

" . . . and the opening instrumental figure in the Credo is said by Czerny to have been based on a village musician's bungled attempt at an arpeggio" (Cooper: 168).

With respect to Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, Thayer relates the following comment by Czerny with respect to the author of the text of this work:

"Czerny's statement that the text was written by Kuffner is questioned by Nottebohm, who points out that the poem is not included in the collected writings of that author, though all manner of fragments and trifles are" (Thayer: 526, im Kapitel zum Jahr 1806).

Kinderman refers to this as follows: 

"Czerny reported that the poet Kuffner was engaged at the last minute to write new words for the Choral Fantasy, following hints given by the composer.(18: Thayer-Forbes, 448-451; Nottebohm questioned Czerny's attribution of the text to Kuffner and speculated that the author might have been Georg Friedrich Treitschke, who revised the libretto of Fidelio in 1814" (Kinderman: 132).

Cooper reports on the premiere of the Choral Fantasy in December, 1808 and subsequently refers to a comment by Czerny with respect to the Fourth Piano Concerto that was also featured: 

" . . . the concerto included a surprise.  As Czerny reports, Beethoven performed this very mischieveously, inserting in the decorative passage many more notes than were in the printed edition.  The manuscript score that Beethoven evidently used for directing the performance still survives (the middle movement is missing), and in over a hundred bars there are minute, sketchy annotations of variants in Beethoven's handwriting.  These were probably made in preparation for this performance, and they demonstrate how he was never fully satisfied with even his greatest works" (Cooper: 179-180).

With respect to the Trio, Op. 70, No. 1, Kinderman relates Czerny's comment as follows: 

"Czerny wrote about this (Op. 70, no. 1) Largo assai ed espressivo in D minor that it resembles an appearance of the ghost in Hamlet(22: On the Proper Performance of All Beethoven's Works for the Piano, p.[87]97" (Kinderman: 134).

Cooper reports as follows on Czerny's comment to the Egmont Overture: 

"Beethoven's main composition during spring 1810 was the Overture and Incidential Music to Goethe's Egmont.  The theatre directors, no doubt sensitive to the political situation, decided to produce two dramas about resistance to foreign occupation--Egmont and Schiller's Wilhelm Tell.  New music was commissioned for both; according to Czerny, Beethoven would have preferred Tell, but this was allocated to Gyrowetz" (Cooper: 195).

With respect to the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies, Solomon features the following comment Czerny rendered: 

"According to Czerny, Beethoven was angered at this reception, because he considered the Eighth "much better" than the Seventh.(66: Thayer-Forbes, p. 576)" (Solomon: 214).

With respect to Beethoven's popularity in Vienna, Thayer provides the following Czerny comment: 

" . . .  Czerny-than whom no man could be better informed on the subject of the master's actual position-takes occasion in his notes for Jahn to remark: "It has repeatedly been said in foreign lands that Beethoven was not respected in Vienna and was suppressed. The truth is that already as a youth he received all manner of support from our high aristocracy and enjoyed as much care and respect as ever fell to the lot of a young artist. . . . Later, too, when he estranged many by his hypochondria, nothing was charged against his often very striking peculiarities; hence his predilection for Vienna, and it is doubtful if he would have been left so undisturbed in any other country. It is true that as an artist he had to fight cabals, but the public was innocent of this. He was always marvelled at and respected as an extraordinary being and his greatness was suspected even by those who did not understand him. Whether or not to be rich rested with him, but he was not made for domestic order" . . .  (Thayer: 444-445). 

Perhaps we should compare Thayer's Czerny reference with that Solomon which provides:

"According to Carl Czerny, Lichnowsky treated Beethoven "as a friend and brother, and induced the entire nobility to support him."(19: Czerny, "Recollections", p. 309)" (Solomon: 61).

"If we are to believe the recollections of Carl Czerny, it was at this very time that "all the followers of the old Mozart-haydn school opposed [Beethoven] bitterly."(22: Otto Erich Deutsch, ed. Schubert: A Documentary Biography (London: Dent, 1946), p. 64. Frimmel, Handbuch, II, 95-96.)  We know that this is not altogether accurate, for Lichnowsky, Thun, Lobkowitz, Apponyi, Swieten, and other patrons of Beethoven were also among the significant enthusiasts of his predecessors' music" (Solomon: 75).

Once again, in Thayer's chapter on the year 1817, the progress of Beethoven's hearing loss is discussed by means of relating Czerny's comments: 

"Brief mention should be made at this point of Beethoven's increasing deafness. Czerny, who saw Beethoven frequently during these particular years, told Jahn that between 1812 and 1816 it gradually became more and more difficult to make oneself understood without shouting. "But it was not until after 1817 that the deafness became so extreme that he could no longer hear music either, and this condition persisted for about 8 to 9 years until his death." And further: "Up to 1816, he was still able (with the aid of machines) to hear himself play, but later even this became more and more difficult, and he had to rely on his inner hearing, his imagination, and experience" (Thayer: 690

With respect to Op. 102, No. 1, Cooper refers to Czerny's comment, as follows: 

"The C major sonata is qualitatively different from any previous Beethoven sonata, or indeed any of his earlier compositions.  That it belongs among his late works has been recognized since the days of Czerny who wrote:

[It] belongs to the last period of Beethoven's career, in which he no longer embellished his ideas by the orginary effects of the pianoforte (as passages and the like) but ordered the construction of the work in its simple grandeur, so that a player most the more endeavour to impart to each thought, as well as to each note, its full significance. (12: Proper Performance, 79/89)" (Cooper: 242).

With respect to Op. 106, Cooper also refers to Czerny's report:

"Czerny reports that Beethoven actually told him, while work was in progress, 'I am writing a sonata now which is going to be my greatest' (Czerny, Proper Performance, 10)" (Cooper: 261).

With respect to the choral ending of the Ninth Symphony, Thayer discusses Czerny's comment the latter made to Jahn: 

"The questions which have been raised by the choral finale are many and have occupied the minds of musicians, professional and amateur, ever since the great symphony was first given to the world. In 1852 Carl Czerny told Otto Jahn that Beethoven had thought, after the performance, of composing a new finale without vocal parts for the work. Schindler saw the note in Jahn's papers and wrote in the margin: "That is not true".; but it must be remembered that there was a cessation of the great intimacy between Beethoven and Schindler which began not long after the Symphony had been produced, and lasted almost till Beethoven was on his deathbed. Schindler can not have been present at all of the meetings between Beethoven and his friends at which the Symphony was discussed. Nevertheless he is upheld, in a measure, by the fact (to which Nottebohm directed attention) that Beethoven, if he made the remark, either did not mean it to be taken seriously or afterwards changed his mind; for after keeping the manuscript in his hands six months he sent it to the publisher as we have it. Seyfried, writin in Cäcilia (Vol. IX, p. 236), faults Beethoven for not having taken the advice of well-meaning friends and written a new finale as he did for the Quartet in B-flat, Op. 130.(23: Nottebohm (II Beeth., p. 182) guesses that the advice came from Seyfried himself). Even if one of the well-meaning friends was Seyfried himself, the statement has value as evidence that Beethoven was not as convinced as Czerny's story would have it appear that the choral finale was a mistake. Sonnleithner, in a letter to the editor of the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung in 1864, (24: April 6, 1864, pp. 245-46. (TDR, v, 65) confirmed Jahn's statement by saying that Czerny had repeatedly related as an unimpeachable fact that some time after the first performance of the Symphony Beethoven, in a circle of his most intimate friends, had expressed himself positively to the effect that he perceived that he had made a mistake [Mißgriff] in the last movement and intended to reject it and write an instrumental piece in its stead, for which he already had an idea in his head. . . . " (Thayer: 895).

Let us add to Thayer's comments on the "Ninth" those of Solomon, Kinderman and Cooper: 

"Beethoven himself told Czerny that Schiller was a difficult poet to set because no musician could surpass his poetry.(67: Boettcher, Beethoven als Liederkomponist, p. 45; Thayer-Forbes, p. 472)" (Solomon: 310).

"According to Czerny, Beethoven once said that 'Schiller's poems are extremely difficult for the musician.  The composer must know how to lift himself above the poet, who can do that with Schiller text?  In that respect Goethe is much easier.'(1: On the Proper Performance of All Beethoven's Works for the Piano, p. 19, translation amended" (Kinderman: 139).

"Solomon compares the removal of the quartet fugue to Beethoven's concern, as reported by Czerny, that to close the Ninth Symphony with a choral finale was a mistake" (Kinderman: 307).

"One of the most perceptive responses was that of Czerny, who was amazed by the incredible energy of the Ninth Symphony:

Beethoven . . . in the most striking manner astonished everyone who feared that after ten years of deafness only dry, abstract, unimaginative works could be produced.  His new symphony for the most part breathes such a fresh, lively, indeed youthful spirit; so much power, innovation and beauty as ever came from the head of this original man, although he certainly sometimes led the old wigs to shake their heads (38 TDR, v. 97" Cooper; 317).

With respect to Beethoven's later opinion on Napoleon, Thayer, or rather, Czerny, reports: 

"Czerny visited Beethoven in Baden, and a notice from him in Jahn's papers is interesting on account of a remark concerning Napoleon: "In 1824 I went with Beethoven once to a coffee-house in Baden where found many newspapers on the table. In one I read an announcement of Walter Scott's Life of Napoleon and showed it to Beethoven. "Napoleon, he said, 'earlier I couldn't have tolerated him. Now I think completely otherwise'" (Thayer: 920

As we can see, as conveyor of Beetoven's legacy, Czerny left us a rich variety of comments on Beethoven's character, on his looks, on his habits and on his works so that we have to agree with Joyce Maier when she tells her Dutch readers that every Beethoven biography is bound to feature many Czerny comments. 

Those Beethoven friends who might have become enticed by the material offered here to explore the topic of Carl Czerny further, be it in connection with his relationship to Beethoven, be it in other areas of his life as piano pedagogue and compoers, we want to refer to some special links at the bottom of this page.  

However, before we send you off into that direction, we would like to conclude our brief overview on the topic of Beethoven and Czerny with one last general Czerny observation on Beethoven: 

"Czerny reported that 'he always knew how to devise a pun.  While listening to an Overture by Weber ['weaver'], he said: 'Hm, it's woven!':-) [gewebt](14: Über den richtigen Vortrag, p. 13, Proper Performance, p. 7, translation amended" (Kinderman: 200).


 Beethoven Bibliography Data Base
(Ira Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, San Jose, California):
Key Word: Beethoven and Czerny

Beethoven Bibliography Data Base
(Ira Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, San Jose, California):
Key Word: Author: Czerny, Carl

International Symposium: Carl Czerny and His Times
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
June 2002 (Artistic Director: Anton Kuerti)

Carl Czerny at

Czerny-Titles at the Universal-Edition, Vienna

Czerny-CD's in the CD-Shop of
(Amopng them: Anton Kuerti plays Czerny-Sonatas)

Czerny-CD's it the jpc-Shop

Czerny- Sheet Music at Notanorm

Copyright 2003:  Ingrid Schwaegermann.


Cooper, Barry: Beethoven.  (Master Musician Series, edited by Stanley Sadie). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Kinderman, William.  Beethoven.  Oxford + New York, Oxford University Press, 1997.

Ludwig van Beethoven.  Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe. Im Auftrag des Beethoven-Hauses in Bonn herausgegeben von Sieghard Brandenburg.  München: 1996, G. Henle-Verlag.

Solomon, Maynard. Beethoven. New York: Schirmer Books, Paperback Edition 1979.

Thayer's Life of Beethoven, edited by Elliott Forbes. Princeton, New Jersey Princeton University Press, 1964.