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<<  -- 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 But he also wrote reams of unpublished serious music.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 It seems these unpublished songs (1811-12) pre-date Schubert and include a fine, if utterly different, version of The Erlking.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



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