<< -- 2 -- Gordon Rumson A BRIEF REPORT FROM THE EMPTY QUARTER
Years ago I also played through vast swaths of his available études
and sorry folks, even the School of Velocity, opus 299 of some 800
or more published opus numbers, has some fine music in it. Then I
tried to find the Sonatas and was stymied. Though I came upon a remark of
Liszt praising one of them, I was unable to locate the music. A dead end.
But about ten years ago I did chance upon the organ works (!) in an edition
by the excellent scholar Otto Biba and played them during Church services.
Here was serious, well-written music that showed thorough mastery of meaningful
counterpoint, total command of organ writing (including quite demanding
pedal parts) and genuine feeling.
When the New York based pianist Vladislav Kovalsky and I chanced to meet
Anton Kuerti, he began to talk of his festival and we decided to make the
trek to Edmonton to hear as many of the concerts as we could.
Sadly we only heard three. But what music!
A concert of songs and chamber music, an organ recital and, most importantly,
a symphony concert. Mr Kuerti told us though that the treasure of the event
was a string quartet in one of the concerts we missed. Among the performers
I will single out the tenor Benjamin Butterfield, who gave excellent performances
of the lieder, and the Edmonton Symphony led by Grzegorz Nowak. No composer
could ask for better performances: well prepared, energetic and deeply felt.
Copyright © 5 July 2002
Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
THE WORLD'S FIRST CARL CZERNY MUSIC FESTIVAL