J. B. Cramer's Études

I have just revisited the well-known piano Études by J. B. Cramer. Unfortunately they were mostly published in the sometimes-objectionable von Bülow edition, in selections of either 50 or 60 of the total 84 studies.

Cramer was a student of Clementi and one of the most renowned pianists of the first half of the 19th century.
Although always based in London, he occasionally visited continental Europe, including Vienna where he met and indeed played with Beethoven.

He was a very prolific (although relatively minor) composer of piano music, contemporary with Beethoven but much less advanced in style. However, Cramer’s studies are quite interesting for the modern harpsicordist, because many of them:

  • fit into the FF-g’‘’ range and can easily be re-arranged into FF-f’‘’
  • are in a late baroque or early classical style and are very much “harpsichordistic”
  • are not only very good keyboard practice but also musically excellent: I have played a few of them in encores.

Dear Claudio,

Very informative post! Thank you! I remember being quite indifferent to Cramer’s studies as a teen when I was studying piano, but your description triggered my curiosity to go back and look at them again. Are you aware of other editions than von Bülow’s that are currently published? Otherwise, I’ll try to dig them up from my old stuff at my family home next time I visit back.


IMSLP AFAIK only carries von Bülow editions, but there are many editions (new or old and second-hand) around, hopefully you can find one based on the original. Cramer had his own publishing house in London and I understand he published his own studies, but I am not sure such an original edition is available anywhere.

Schirmer’s editions do not mention Bülow, but being all 50 studies I strongly suspect they are indeed based on Bülow.

Have checked, a few (not all!) of Schirmer’s reprints include in small type “(Bülow)”, confirming that they all are indeed the Bülow edition, pity!

What’s wrong with this first edition on IMSLP?


Are you not referring to this?

Thanks Andrew! Guess that’s the one!

Obviously I had another google glitch: wHen I first searched IMSLP Cramer, it landed only on editions rev. von Bülow!! :frowning:

The ones I recommend for the harpsichord are all from the vol.I, nos. 1-42:

3 in D major
20 in e minor
21 in G major
28 in c minor

Also very interesting:
2 in e minor
4 in c minor
16 in f minor
32 in d minor

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