Composers / Thomas Tellefsen / Places catalog

Charlotte Thygeson (1811–1872) – a student of Kalkbrenner

Immediately after his arrival in Paris, in 1842, Tellefsen contacted the Norwegian-born pianist Charlotte Thygeson, who became his first teacher in France and until the spring of 1844 oversaw his musical development.

Thygeson had a solid and broad musical education. She had considerable knowledge of the works of Bach, and during a stay in Rome she had met Felix Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny and played Bach with them. Tellefsen described her Bach interpretations thus:

"Charlotte Thygeson played for me three preludes and fugues of [Johann] Sebastian Bach, namely a brilliant prelude and fugue in B major, which you know, the Fugue in C sharp minor (the most exquisite piece of Bach that I ever heard) and another in D minor, all of them so extraordinary that I was utterly thrilled (…) The themes showed so distinctly, in the bass, tenor, alto or treble, the theme was forte, and the other voices piano. That is what having control over one’s fingers should look like”.

Further into the same letter, he describes her as one of the best students of the composer and virtuoso Friedrich Kalkbrenner (1785–1849). As Tellefsen himself did not have sufficient funds to pay for lessons with the famous virtuoso, he took lessons from his student for a fraction of the cost. In this way, he could gain an almost direct insight into Kalkbrenner's methods and playing technique. His friendship with Charlotte Thygeson also allowed Tellefsen to listen free of charge to her classes with other students.

Kalbrenner’s method consisted in developing playing technique by concentrating on the nimbleness of the fingers, in contrast to the stronger playing of Liszt. With time, Tellefsen shifted towards a method of expression which was not entirely contrary to Liszt’s style. The most important thing, he decided, was to use technique consciously to express what you wish to communicate. Moreover, already after the first year spent in Paris, Tellefsen had no doubts that the greatest pianist was Chopin, and that he wanted to learn from him. Kalkbrenner’s method did not satisfy Tellefsen from either the technical or the musical point of view. In February 1843, he wrote to his parents that Kalkbrenner represented “one-sided development – his almost manic focus on developing technique, this drive with which Kalkbrenner strives to stamp out any germ of originality or genius. In my opinion (…) Kalkbrenner is too single-minded – because internal musical education must follow the (…) external one – the technique”.

In the autumn of 1844, Charlotte Thygeson left for Rome. Some years later, she came back to Paris as a highly-paid piano teacher. Tellefsen contacted her still in 1845. Later, her name disappears from his correspondence.

Place Category
Charlotte Thygeson (1811–1872) – a student of Kalkbrenner A student in France (1842–1849), Flats
Chopin and Tellefsen in London Flats, Thomas Tellefsen in Great Britain
Christiania Theater Appearances, Concerts in Christiania and Stockholm
Concerts at the Royal Opera in Stockholm Appearances, Concerts in Christiania and Stockholm
Concerts in Le Havre and Honfleur Appearances, A student in France (1842–1849)
England and Scotland (1849) Manors / Palaces / Castles, Thomas Tellefsen in Great Britain
England and Scotland (1851) Appearances, Thomas Tellefsen in Great Britain
Honfleur A student in France (1842–1849), Education
Latin School in Trondheim Education, Tellefsen’s Childhood in Trondheim
London (1870–1873) Appearances, Thomas Tellefsen in Great Britain
Masonic lodge in Christiania (Oslo) Appearances, Concerts in Christiania and Stockholm
Matthäus Nagiller (1815–1874) A student in France (1842–1849), Education
Napoléon Henri Reber A student in France (1842–1849), Education
Ole Andreas Lindeman Flats, Tellefsen’s Childhood in Trondheim
Ole Andreas Lindeman – organist at the Church of Our Lady Churches / Places of worship, Tellefsen’s Childhood in Trondheim
Princess Marcelina Czartoryska Education, Manors / Palaces / Castles, Mature years in Paris 1849–1874
Scotland (1850) Flats, Thomas Tellefsen in Great Britain
Scotland: July-September Flats, Thomas Tellefsen in Great Britain
Sir Thomas Dyke Acland and Thomas Dyke Acland Tellefsen Flats, Thomas Tellefsen in Great Britain
Tellefsen’s choice of piano Appearances, A student in France (1842–1849)
Tellefsen and early music Appearances, Mature years in Paris 1849–1874
Tellefsen – chamber musician Appearances, Mature years in Paris 1849–1874
Tellefsen – composer Mature years in Paris 1849–1874
Tellefsen – pianist Appearances, Mature years in Paris 1849–1874
Tellefsen – publisher Mature years in Paris 1849–1874, Publishers / Bookshops
Tellefsen – student of Chopin A student in France (1842–1849), Education
Tellefsen – teacher Education, Mature years in Paris 1849–1874
The Rothschilds Education, Mature years in Paris 1849–1874
The Tellefsens' house Flats, Tellefsen’s Childhood in Trondheim
Thomas Tellefsen at the Trondheim Theatre Appearances, Tellefsen’s Childhood in Trondheim
Trondheim Cathedral Churches / Places of worship, Tellefsen’s Childhood in Trondheim
Trondheim Music Society Appearances, Tellefsen’s Childhood in Trondheim