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    About the author : HANON Charles-Louis

    • HANON Charles-Louis


      Charles-Louis Hanon (* July 2, 1819 in Renescure - † March 19, 1900 in Boulogne-sur-Mer) is a composer and teacher of French piano. In 1846 he settled in Boulogne-sur-Mer as organist and choirmaster. He lives with his brother François, also a musician.


      His first published work dates from 1854: The Mountains of Savoy, a fantastic piece for the piano. There will be several collections for the popularization and teaching of the piano, organ and harmonium, the use of which was spread in country churches. Charles-Louis Hanon is best known for his work The virtuoso pianist in 60 exercises calculated to acquire the agility, independence, strength and the most perfect equality of the fingers as well as the flexibility of the wrists, first published in 1873 to Boulogne-sur-Mer, which has become one of the basic works used by piano teachers. These exercises are mainly digital exercises (using different repetitive figures, generally on several octaves) which, contrary to the studies of various composers (Chopin, Liszt, or Czerny or Clementi), of musical interest: their goal is purely mechanical (with the exception, possibly, of the last exercise: "the Tremolo"). The technique to be used for the exercises is briefly described before almost all of them (for example Hanon advocates the attack of the octaves with the forearm). Despite its detractors, this method is one of the most famous, and it continues to be used massively. It has been published in at least 11 languages ​​and adapted for various instruments. It was approved at the time by Antoine-François Marmontel and Georges Mathias, professors at the Paris Conservatory and by Louis Brassin, professor at the conservatories of Brussels and St. Petersburg. Serge Rachmaninoff and Josef Lhévinne claimed that the explosion of piano virtuosos in their day was due to the obligation to study the Hanon exercises in Russian conservatories, where specific tests required the performance of all exercises by heart. , at all tempi, and in all tones. In 1867, Charles-Louis Hanon was named honorary member of the National Academy Sainte-Cécile by Pius IX. His life was that of a devotee, a member of the Third Order of St. Francis and the Conferences of St. Vincent de Paul.


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