Tausig, Carl



Piano virtuoso of the very highest order, who died when only thirty; born at Warsaw. His father was Aloys Tausig, a pianist of considerable ability, who took the greatest pains with his son's early education, and when he was fourteen, sent him to Liszt, who predicted a successful future for him and afterward became deeply interested in him. He was one of a student circle which included Klindworth, Pruckner, Billow, Joseph Joachim and Cornelius. He worked hard at counterpoint, instrumentation and composition as well as piano, by his ability and industry winning first place in his master's regard. In 1858 he made his debut at an orchestra concert which Bulow conducted at Berlin and at which his wonderful perfection of technique excited great applause, although some of his critics found fault with the tremendous force and tone of his playing. During the next two years he made a concert tour through Germany with Dresden as his place of residence. In 1862 he went to Vienna and inaugurated a series of concerts of advanced music such as Bulow was conducting in Berlin, but which proved unsuccessful both artistically and financially. Tausig then devoted himself to study and to improving and broadening his style. In 1865 he married Seraphine von Urabely, a pianist and pupil of Dreyschock, and removed to Berlin. Here his success was immediate and he was recognized as one of the foremost pianists. He founded his Schule des Hoherin Clavierspiels, in which he taught many fine pupils, Joseffy among them. He also gave piano recitals, at some of which the programs consisted entirely of Chopin's compositions, a composer whom he greatly admired. He died of typhoid fever in Leipsic in July, 1871. As a virtuoso he was wonderful, and Liszt spoke of him as "infallible with his fingers of steel." The crispness and clearness of his touch and the power of his tone were altogether unique. Great technical difficulties he overcame with the greatest ease, always maintaining outward composure. He was modest and quiet and, when playing, completely absorbed in his music. He left a long list of compositions, among them Deux Etudes de Concert; Reminiscences de Halka, Fantasie de Concert; Poems symphoniques, Ungarische Zigeunerweisen; Das Geisterschiff; Symphonische Ballade, Nach einem Gedicht; von strachwitz; many valuable transcriptions among them Weber's Aufforderung zum Tanz; Chopin's Concerto in D minor; dementi's Gradus ad Parnassum; Bach's Toccata und Fugue fur die Orgel in D moll; and many others, also his Taglische Studien, a series of finger exercises invaluable to the pianist.