Johann Baptist Cramer: Studio per il Pianoforte, Book 1, op. 30 (21 Selected and annotated studies by Ludwig van Beethoven)


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    Beethoven’s annotation for each Studio
    n. 1 Allegro (The rhythmical accent is the same on all beats of the bar. In this way, it appears in scalelike progressions. In order to obtain the necessary binding, the finger must not be lifted off the first note of each group until the fourth note is to be struck. With pupils, this Study must naturally be practiced at first in a very slow time). ç
    n. 2 Presto (In like manner the rhythmical accent must be uniformly placed on the first note of each triplet. In the four introductory bars the thumb adheres firmly to the fundamental note, so that the broken third, and in a similar manner all broken chords, may be made clear. In order to obtain binding, the triple figure in the left hand must be dealt with in the same way. -against the 16th bar is written: the melody in the 3rd note of the triplet). ©
    n. 3 Moderato (The melody in nearly always to be found in the third note of each group; but the rhythmical accent must be given uniformly on the first note. On account of binding, the finger should dwell on this accented note). §
    n. 4 Con moto (Here, the longs and shorts must be attended to throughout, i. e. the Ist note long (-), the 2nd short (u), the 3rd in its turn long, and the 4th in its turn short: the same as in scanning Trochaic measure. At first, the Ist, also 3rd note, is to be intentionally lengthened so that the long may be perceptibly distinguished from short, but without prolonging the the Ist and the 3rd note as if they were dotted. The movement should only be increased later on, and then the sharp edges will easily be smoothened down. The intelligence of the pupil becoming gradually more fori-ned will help, and proper binding will be obtained. The hands to be somewhat spread out).
    n. 5 Allegro moderato (The movement is written in four voices. The melody lies in the upper voice, as it is shown by the mode of writing. Were, however, the latter as follows:

    still the first note of each group would have to be uniforrnly accentuated and held down. The middle voice e-c, f-c, g-c, etc., must not be given out with the same strength as that of the upper voice. The measure shows itself as trochaic.
    n. 6 Vivace (The rhythmical accent on the Ist note of each triplet. But here the rhythmical articulations, now long, now short, must be attended to, for without this a false rhythmical progression would become perceptible in the melody. The Study up to the 15th bar is in four voices).
    n. 7 Piuttosto moderato (Here the Ist and the 3rd notes of each group carry the melody (in trochaic measure). The finger continues to dwell for the space of two quavers, on the long syllable (Ist note). The tenor seconds the soprano; therefore alto and bass should not be given out with equal strength).
    n. 8 Allegro (The melody is to be found in the highest tailed notes. The rhythmical accents are unequally distributed; in the first bar they occur on the Ist and the 3rd beats, in the second bar, however, on the first note of each group. The position of the right hand must be broad and firm on the accented beats (Ist and the 3rd) in the 2nd 4th 6th, 8th and 10th bars on the first (note) of every group, otherwise the hand loses its equalibrium. – against the 11th bar is written: the touch here uniformly broad. – bars 16 and 17: on account of binding the first note must always be held on. – bar 19: the rhythmical accent uniformly on each group).
    n. 9 Allegro moderato (The triplets in the bass constitute a melody-bearing figure. The accent falls throughout on the first note of each triplet, which almost always supports the middle voices. This Study must be practised at first with firm touch, also in slow time. Since the character of the melody demands a certain breadth, it should never be played quickly; in moderate movement it actually is, and remains difficult, because the player’s attention is always on the stretch).
    n. 12 Moderato espressivo (The melody throughout lies in the second note of each group, the rhythmical accent falls on each first of the group. This should be given at first in very moderate tempo and fairly strong though not with short touch. In proportion as the tempo afterwards increased, the less will be heard of it, and the melody and character of the Study will stand out in clearer light).
    n. 13 Spiritoso (The study of longs and shorts in passages is here the aim. The rhythmical accent occurs on almost all beats of the bar, from the 2nd to the 5th bar inclusive – from the 7th to the 11th bar inclusive. Longs and shorts, the first of which I mark V, placing it under the note, which has to be accented. By paying heed to the longs and shorts the melodic movement stands out in the passages; without so doing, every passage loses its meaning).
    n. 15 Maestoso (Longs and shorts alternatively in both hands. The principal accent rests on the first note of each group; hence the finger holds firmly on to it, except in those groups in which there is a progression of a second, as, for instance, already in the second bar in the bass. From the 13th to the 16th bar inclusive the melody lies in the highest notes; the accentuation here resembles iambic measure. Further when the motive is taken up again from the 9th and 12th bars, attention must be paid to the accent in the middle voice, which I mark thus V).
    n. 16 Moderato con espressione (The aim here is the study of the bass figure, which progresses, for the most part, in longs and shorts: a delicate and difficult matter. In some places I again mark a V: all nuances cannot be indicated, neither can they in other pieces. These studies provide counsel and help for all cases).
    n. 18 Allegro (The aim is proper treatment of the longs and shorts in passages in which groups rise or fall in thirds, fourths, etc. The Ist and 3rd of each group are long, the 2nd and 4th short; the accentuation uniform).
    n. 21 Moderato (Attention must be paid to the accent of the fifth note of each group, which mostly appears as a minor second. Trochaic measure forms the basis of each group: the first note accented and long, but less so the fifth).
    n. 23 Con brio (The first note of each group bears the melody in closest connection, hence the finger ought not to leave the key until the next melody-note is to be struck. Only thus will proper binding be achieved).
    n. 24 Con moto (In the first five bars the first note of the first triplet and the third note of the second triplet must be connected together in the best possible manner, so that the melody may stand out thus:

    The finger therefore must remain on the long note. For the rest, the rule for the rendering of the triplet holds good; but here the second triplet must be less strongly accentuated).
    n. 27 Vivacissimo (The melody, which is unequally distributed, must first be sought out; it begins with E flat, A flat, C, A flat, etc. Further, the whole must be rendered with longs and shorts, which in fact follow one another. The hand must lie more firmly than usual over the keys, almost press on them).
    n. 29 Presto (The aim is to learn to withdraw the hand lightly: this will be accomplished if it is placed firmly on the first of the two connected notes, moving almost perpendicularly upwards as the second note is struck).
    n. 30 Moderato con espressione (In the matter of accentuation this Study is similar to Nos 14 and 21. The trochaic measure must be audible).
    n. 41 Aria moderato (The aim is the management of the second voice in the four-part writing, with due attention to all the longs and shorts. This Study is one of the most difficult and most important. Strict binding throughout).

    Translation from German by Dimitri Karydis.
    For the italian translation: La traduzione italiana delle annotazioni di Beethoven negli studi di Cramer (


    Giusy De Berardinis, pianist, harpsichordist and researcher, is especially interested in the music of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and in the history and evolution of keyboard technique up to and following the advent of the piano. Deeply influenced by Emilia Fadini, her teacher and personal friend, she has mainly based her professional life on historical research and performing. In 2007 she was invited to the fourteenth annual congress of the Italian Society of Musicology to speak about her research work on the origin of the Italian sonata and its relationship with the development of piano technique. She has rediscovered the composer Ferdinando Turrini and recorded three world premiere recordings of his Sonatas: Le Sonate per il Cembalo Pianoforte (Ermitage – Fabula Classica) on a Broadwood square piano, London, 1806) and Sei Sonate per Cembalo opera Mangili 1795 e Sei Sonate per Cembalo coll’accompagnamento d’un violino, ed una Fuga infine a Cembalo solo, 1784 (Tactus, double CD, on a Johan Fritz square piano, Wien 1810 circa). Concerning Turrini’s Sei sonate per Cembalo – Raccolta Fini (1795) she edited a critical edition for the Libreria Italiana Musicale (LIM 2009). Furthermore, she devoted an essay to Turrini’s life and works: Nuove acquisizioni sulla vita e le opera di Ferdinando Turrini (Studi musicali – Accademia nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma 2012). She also investigated the composer Gaetano Valeri, Turrini’s pupil and one of the most active and respected composers of the Veneto region during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, bringing to light new data about him, regarding both his date of birth (found to be March 5, 1762) and his production of five unpublished concertos for harpsichord/fortepiano and orchestra. She devoted an essay to his life and works: Gaetano Valeri, «esimio armonista» a Padova (Ad Parnassum Journal, Ut Orpheus, Bologna 2019). She has held courses in harpsichord and piano interpretation and performance at private music schools as well at several Conservatories: ‘A. Casella’ (L’Aquila), ‘Luca Marenzio’ (Brescia), ‘Girolamo Frescobaldi’ (Ferrara), ‘Umberto Giordano’ (Foggia), ‘Luisa D’Annunzio’ (Pescara) and the ‘Royal Academy of Music’, (Aahrus, Denmark). In 2020, she had the honour of conducting the last video interview of Emilia Fadini on the occasion of her visit to the Conservatory ‘L. D’annunzio’ of Pescara and, with the harpsichordist Massimo Salcito, has published the photobook Emilia Fadini, a documentary tribute to this special moment (Youcanprint, 2021). Passionate about historical keyboard instruments, she owns an original square piano made by J. Fritz (Wien, 1810), a three-quarter grand piano Pleyel (Paris 1863) and a double manual harpsichord made by Michael Johnson, a historical copy of a 1685 Ruckers instrument.


    Johann [John] Baptist Cramer
    (b Mannheim, 24 Feb 1771; d London, 16 April 1858). Composer, pianist and publisher, the eldest son of (1) Wilhelm Cramer. He was the most outstanding member of the family. As one of the most renowned piano performers of his day, he contributed directly to the formulation of an idiomatic piano style through his playing and his compositions. When he was about three years old he was taken to London by his mother to join his father, who had decided to establish himself in England. Wilhelm taught his son the violin from a very early age, but the child showed distinct precocity at the piano and at the age of seven was placed under the direction of J.D. Benser. He continued his studies with J.S. Schroeter from 1780 to 1783, when he was entrusted to Muzio Clementi. Although he studied with Clementi for only one year, the lessons were decisive in forming his artistic character. His formal training was completed with lessons in theory (from 1785) under C.F. Abel, through whom Cramer first came to know the writings of Kirnberger and Marpurg. His early training acquainted him with the works of the greatest keyboard composers of the century, and by the mid-1780s he had studied works of Clementi, Schröter, J.C. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Domenico Scarlatti, Müthel, Paradies, Haydn and Mozart. He may have been introduced to Das wohltemperirte Clavier as early as 1787, and he developed a lifelong fascination for Bach. By the time Clementi left England for the Continent and Cramer’s formal piano lessons were abruptly ended, he had already attracted attention as a performer in London. He made his formal début on 6 April 1781, appearing in his father’s annual benefit concert. He performed occasionally during the next few years, at one concert (in 1784) playing a duet for two pianos with Clementi.