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Czerny: Music For Horn & Fortepiano / Clark, Govier


Release Date: 07/11/2000 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55074   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Carl Czerny
Performer:  Andrew [French Horn] ClarkGeoffrey Govier
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This bargain-priced reissue presents some of Czerny’s chamber music in excellent period performances

In this recording we have not only horn and fortepiano music but, also, the temporary turning back of a page of instrumental history. The natural horn was valveless and could (unassisted) play only the ‘bugle notes’, the natural harmonics; the other notes called for skilful manoeuvres by the player’s hand within the bell of the instrument. When Czerny wrote the Introduction et variations concertantes (c 1830) he specified the valved horn, but in the Brilliante Fantasien (c 1836) and Andante e Polacca (1848) he reverted to the natural horn. The possible reasons for this are discussed at length in Andrew Clark’s notes;
Read more they relate to the tonal differences between open and hand-stopped notes on the natural horn, and to the development of a more agile hand-stopping technique, the former beneficial to the shaping of melodic lines (the Fantasien are based on songs of Schubert) and the latter to the execution of florid passages. The term ‘florid’ is of course relative, and even the most agile passages for the horn are eclipsed in brilliance (though not in dramatic effect) by Czerny’s coruscating writing for the piano.

There are other worthy recordings of all but the Introduction et variations concertantes, but this is the only one to use period instruments, telling it like it sounded in the salons of its time, executed with great skill and artistry, and finely recorded. The sound of the fortepiano is lighter and less three-dimensional than that of today’s instrument, and the notes in its highest register teeter on the brink of becoming percussive rather than pitched – but just manage to avoid crossing the line. For devotees of the horn music and salon music of the first half of the 19th century this is an essential addition to their collections, and an interesting one for music-lovers in general.

-- John Duarte, Gramophone [11/2000]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Andante and Polacca for Horn and Piano, Op. posthumous by Carl Czerny
Performer:  Andrew [French Horn] Clark (Natural Horn), Geoffrey Govier (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1848; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1999 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London 
Length: 11 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Introduction et variationes concertants for Horn, Op. 248 by Carl Czerny
Performer:  Geoffrey Govier (Fortepiano), Andrew [French Horn] Clark (French Horn)
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1830; Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1999 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London 
Length: 16 Minutes 18 Secs. 
3.
Brilliant Fantasies (3) on themes of Schubert, Op. 339 by Carl Czerny
Performer:  Andrew [French Horn] Clark (Natural Horn), Geoffrey Govier (Fortepiano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1836; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1999 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London 
Length: 51 Minutes 42 Secs. 

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