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Click to enlargeCzerny - Practical Method, Op. 599 (Complete) (Palmer) [Alfred Publishing Co.]

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As a student of Ludwig van Beethoven and teacher of Franz Liszt, Carl Czerny (1 791-1857) holds a distinguished position in music history. While he was a prolific composer and gifted pianist, it is his labor as a teacher and his pedagogical works for piano that have survived to influence generations of pianists. Relentlessly embracing the dramatic changes that occurred in piano literature in the 19th century (and the technical demands that accompanied those changes), Czerny put his ability to analyze technique and his years of teaching experience into developing exercises that increase the dexterity and technical abilities of piano students.

Czerny's Practical Method for Beginners on the Piano, edited by Willard A. Palmer, one of America's most respected teachers and clinicians, is an excellent source of material for expanding the abilities of today's budding pianist. Beginning logically with both hands in the treble clef, this book systematically introduces notes of various time values, and other musical principles, in a way that is easy to learn and delightful to play. Alfred's edition of this time-honored book of exercises has widely spaced music notation for easier reading. Czerny's excellent fingering has not been altered, ensuring this edition's integrity and value to the development of young pianists for years to come.

Josef Albers (1 888-1976) was an artist who found inspiration in the two notions of series and variation. His Violinschlussel, completed in 1935, is based on the simple geometric shape of the G clef, and develops through the use of alternate colors and tones. This concept enables the viewer to interpret a new intent for each of the pieces in this series. Violinschlussel was chosen for the cover of this book because, like the progressive development of the exercises found in Czerny's Practical Method for Beginners on the Piano, each frame is enriched and expanded by Albers's subtle variations of colors and visual rhythms.

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