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Johann Baptist Cramer (24 February 1771 – 16 April 1858) was an Englishmarker musician of Germanmarker origin. He was the son of Wilhelm Cramer (1746-1799), a famous Londonmarker violinist and musical conductor of German origin, one of a numerous family who were identified with the progress of music during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Johann Baptist Cramer was born in Mannheimmarker and was brought to Londonmarker as a child, and it was in London that the greater part of his musical efforts was exercised.

From 1782 to 1784 he studied the piano under Muzio Clementi, and soon became known as a professional pianist both in London and on the continent; he enjoyed a world-wide reputation, and was particularly appreciated by Beethoven. He was the English publisher of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 and is credited with giving it its nickname, "The Emperor". He died in London.

Johann Baptist Cramer was one of the most renowned piano performers of his day. He met Beethoven in Vienna, initiating a mutually rewarding relationship, and he renewed his friendly association with Haydn.

After 1800 Cramer's public career was centred almost entirely on England: following the very successful example of Clementi, Cramer entered the music publishing business. The large volume of Cramer's composition is only part of his musical achievement: Beethoven considered him the finest pianist of the day.

Apart from his piano playing, Cramer is important as a composer. He established a musical instrument manufacturing and music-publishing outlet Cramer & Co. at 201 Regent Street) in partnership with Thomas Frederick Beale and Robert Addison. Cramer ceased involvement with the business at the end of 1833 although it continued to carry his name. He wrote a number of sonatas and other pieces for piano, and other compositions; but his studies are the works by which he lives on as a composer. These studies have appeared in numerous editions, and became the staple pieces in the training of pianists.

His music is generally less dramatic than Clementi's, less rich as Dussek's, less sentimental as Field's. The originality of his genius appears principally in his combination of a conservative bias with the most advanced, idiomatically pianistic passage-work.He wrote piano Sonatas (ca. 200), accompanied piano Sonatas (ca.50), 9 piano concertos and chamber music.

His brother Franz Cramer was Master of the King's Musick from 1837 until his death in 1848.

Selected works

  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 16
  • Grande sonate pour le piano-forte, Op. 20] (1809)
  • Sonata in A-flat major for piano, Op. 23, No. 1
  • 2 Sonatas for piano, Op. 27
  1. in F major
  2. -
  • Sonata in A-flat major for piano, Op. 46 ("Die Jungfrau von Orleans")
  • Piano Concerto No. 5 in C minor, Op. 48
  • Keyboard Sonata in A minor ("L'Ultima"), Op. 53 (1812)
  • Piano Concerto No. 7 in E major, Op. 56
  • Sonata for piano in C major, Op. 57
  • Keyboard Sonatas in B-flat major ("Les suivantes No. 2"), Op. 58 (1817) - Allegro spiritoso / Largo sostenuto / Rondo allegretto
  • Keyboard Sonata in E minor ("Les Suivante No. 3"), Op. 59 (1817)
  • Keyboard Sonata in E major ("Le Retour a Londres"), Op. 62 (1818)
  • Keyboard Sonata in D minor, Op. 63 (1821)
  • Introduzione ed aria all'inglese for piano, Op. 65
  • Piano Quintet in E major ("Amicitia"), Op. 69 (1824) - also in a piano arrangement
  • Piano Concerto No. 8 in D minor, Op. 70
  • Keyboard Sonata in F major ("Il Mezzo"), Op. 74 (1827)
  • Short Studies, Op. 100
  • Romance et Tarantelle Brilliante (Romance in F major - Tarantelle in A Minor), Op. 101


External links

UK Piano Page

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