The gramophone hasn’t been generous to Carl Czerny, either in the number of recordings or favorable opinion; even the “unjustly neglected” tag mostly eludes him.
Rosemary Tuck, with her fellow Australian, conductor Richard Bonynge, and the English Chamber Orchestra have collaborated before in a program of Czerny concertante works. So what can they tell us this time about Czerny that we haven’t known before? Not a lot, really, but it’s as ardently presented as we can expect. This is apparent from the opening Grand Nocturne Brilliant, which Tuck extols in the liner notes and plays with equal conviction. Yes, the elements are there as she says; the influence of Clementi, Chopin, and possibly John Field, and the singing styleRead more Czerny admired in Bellini and Rossini arias. It’s obvious how competent Czerny was in writing for the piano and the orchestra, and in the formal constructs of composition, counterpoint and so on. It all has a pleasant romantic glow. My enduring impression was of the Chopin-esque, in style if not in inspiration.
Czerny met and played duets with Chopin when he visited Vienna in 1829. The subsequent Grand Concerto of 1830, though, sounds less influenced by Chopin than the earlier Nocturne. A 30-minute, three movement work, it has a lot going on from both pianist and orchestra. Tuck uses adjectives such as ‘impressive’, ‘gladiatorial’ and ‘blistering’ in her notes, while I’m afraid ‘superficial’, ‘formulaic’ and ‘inflated’ are those that occurred to me. That’s not deprecating the performers, though - Tuck and company give their all. After an extended orchestral opening, the piano begins to take charge of the opening Allegro, certainly by note-count, anyway. The central Adagio briefly interrupts the torrent, only to provide a launching pad for the attacca into the final Rondo. Tuck is dazzlingly articulate and secure in the countless runs and fast passagework Czerny asks of her.
The final piece, extravagantly titled Variations de Concert sur la Marche des Grecs de l’ Opéra ‘Le Siège de Corinthe’ de Rossini, is Czerny in rent-a-theme mode. As the New Grove suggests, he applied his compositional skills more successfully to the work of others, but then it must be asked whether he adds sufficient value to claim our attention. We’re still not spared all the empty flourishes and note-spinning, but at least the Rossini element provides a solidly structured thread to hold this work together and give it an integrity.
I have nothing but praise for the artists involved in this production, and the Naxos recording is excellent. I would assume that Tuck and Bonynge had some role in the choice of repertoire; the Czerny discography is quite small, and their enterprise is to be admired, giving us another opportunity to evaluate the work of a key figure in the history of the piano and early Romantic music.
– MusicWeb IKnternational (Des Hutchinson) Read less
Works on This Recording
Notturno brilliant in E flat majorby Carl Czerny Performer:
Rosemary Tuck (Piano)
English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: Austria
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 214by Carl Czerny Performer:
Rosemary Tuck (Piano)
English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: Vienna, Austria
Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 214: I. Allegro moderato
Variations de concert sur "La marche des grecs" de Rossini, Op. 138
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
Outstanding RecordingSeptember 22, 2018By Henry S. (Springfield, VA)See All My Reviews"Austrian composer Carl Czerny's music has clearly caught the attention of Naxos, which has released several magnificent recordings of Czerny's works for piano and orchestra. This one, once again featuring soloist Rosemary Tuck with conductor Richard Bonynge and the English Chamber Orchestra, maintains the high standards established in the other releases. The three works on this program date from the late 1820's to around 1830, and the listener should be able to detect the influence of Beethoven throughout. Czerny emphasized alight, playful ambience for the piano scoring, and Rosemary Tuck's wonderful interpretation of these scores would undoubtedly have Czerny nodding his approval. What also should impress the listener is the completely synchronized dialog between soloist and orchestra, with the ECO fully living up to its reputation as one of the world's elite chamber orchestras. To sum up my assessment of this disk, I'll use a comment that I've applied to other reviews for recordings that really made a positive impression. It's hard to imagine any serious classical music fan finding anything to criticize on this Naxos offering. Try it and see what I mean- it's top notch music! Recommended."Report Abuse
One of the keystones in my Romantic piano collectJune 15, 2016By Anthony G. (SANTA FE, NM)See All My Reviews"One of the keystones in my Romantic piano collection. The music grips one from start to finish with surprising modulations, muscular melodies, refined pianistic ideas. Boyynge and Tuck are the icing on the cake. Lovers of the music of the post-Beethoven and pre-Chopin era will adore this acquisition."Report Abuse