This is the final release in our edition of works for piano and orchestra by Carl Czerny (1791–1857). It consists entirely of world premiere recordings. Czerny has long been known as a composer of educational keyboard resources, including piano études, methods and exercises, but students and piano connoisseurs have been delighting in discovering through our recordings that Czerny’s output went far beyond this material. The team of pianist Rosemary Tuck and conductor Richard Bonynge have done much to establish this composer as a name of significance, beyond the occasional offerings of chamber music and symphonies already in catalogues.
‘This album is an ideal conclusion to the Czerny series as it highlights three significant discoveries from his early, middle and late work.
The realisation of the orchestration from manuscript for his Fantasie et Variations Op. 3, found in the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wein, has considerably heightened the music’s beauty and drama – the Fantasie mirroring the tempestuous writing of his Concerto No. 1, which shares the same key of d minor.
Czerny’s late Concertino Op. 650 takes his familiar form of a sweeping Chopinesque Introduction followed by a scintillating Rondo, though here it becomes even more fiendishly difficult and entertaining than before.
It was, however, finding all three Concertino movements which together make up the Concertstucke Op. 78 that was the biggest discovery for me. Written for lighter forces, I was surprised by the music, full of beautiful melodies and quite exquisite moments, aspects which became fully apparent when we recorded it with the orchestra. Everyone was taken with it! It is unusual in that while each Concertino movement can be performed separately, together they also make up a complete concerto of over 30 minutes – another to add to the three grand concertos and Concertino Op. 210, and something which made this recording especially worthwhile.’
– Rosemary Tuck
Carl Czerny found fame and fortune in 19th-century Vienna by writing fashionable and popular works as well as developing techniques for the newly emerging piano with his numerous études. Much of Czerny’s concert music for piano was considered ‘wild and almost unplayable’ in his day, but these world premiere recordings reveal inspired melodic writing, great skill in orchestration and colourful virtuoso challenges in a programme that includes his final Concertino, Op. 650.
The English Chamber Orchestra (ECO) has been performing across the UK and globally for over 60 years; it is the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world. From its foundation, the ECO has worked consistently with the most significant figures in classical music, starting in 1960 with its first patron Benjamin Britten. The ECO celebrates and builds upon its tradition of maintaining the highest international musical standards, nurturing new talent and focusing on the ‘best of British’ music and musicianship.