<< -- 3 -- Gordon Rumson A BRIEF REPORT FROM THE EMPTY QUARTER
Czerny wrote reams of music for publication (he needed the money to support
his parents). But he also wrote reams of unpublished serious music. These
include lieder, thirty string quartets and six symphonies, plus numerous
overtures and choral works. Did I say thirty (!!!) string quartets?
Upon these utterly unknown works Czerny obviously poured his best inspiration
and lavished his finest care.
The Symphony in G Minor (1854) is a stunning composition. Total command
of post-Beethoven symphonic music, there is not a trivial theme to be found
and every event is coordinated with a superb ear and a magnificent sense
of drama. This is powerful, vital music by a great composer, and his name
happens to be Carl Czerny.
So too, the Grand Overture in C Minor, Op 142 was brilliant and excellent,
while the lieder were a treasure trove of melody and significant accompaniment.
It seems these unpublished songs (1811-12) pre-date Schubert and include
a fine, if utterly different, version of The Erlking.
Let's get rid once and for all of Czerny as a dry pedagogue who hated
children and poured out ink. He was a master composer and he desperately
deserves to be heard. Anton Kuerti (who has recorded Czerny's music as well)
has done a huge service to music, correcting a flaw in historical perspective.
Now please excuse me while I go and practice my Czerny ...
Copyright © 5 July 2002
Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
THE WORLD'S FIRST CARL CZERNY MUSIC FESTIVAL