Rosemary Tuck, English Chamber Orchestra, Richard Bonynge – Czerny: Piano Works (2019) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Rosemary Tuck, English Chamber Orchestra, Richard Bonynge – Czerny: Piano Works (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:22:13 minutes | 1,47 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Naxos

Carl Czerny penned an astonishing amount of music, including the numerous potpourris, fantasies, teaching pieces and studies for which he became known. This recording features the delightfully entertaining “Concertino in C major”, Op. 210/213 (MS Op. 197), as well as the highly enjoyable “Rondino”, a work based on an enchanting theme taken from Daniel Auber’s opéra comique Le Maçon.

A pupil and lifelong friend of Beethoven, Czerny was just 21 when he wrote the pastoral “Second Grand Concerto in E flat major”. Begun only twelve days after he had given the Viennese premiere of his mentor’s “Emperor Concerto”, the same choice of key seems a fitting homage to the grand master he so revered.

Pianist Rosemary Tuck has been a champion of the works of Carl Czerny, which have seen a modest revival in recent years. Czerny’s prolific nature, the thinking goes, hurt him, as no less than Brahms noted, and there is worthwhile stuff among the stream of minor work. The trouble is that no work has emerged as a favorite, as a Czerny masterwork. Tuck here offers a work that might, for it came directly out of Czerny’s association with Beethoven, who did, it must be conceded, champion his student. That work is the Grand Concerto No. 2 in E flat major for piano and orchestra, which unlike most of Czerny’s output, was apparently never published. Czerny, aged 21, wrote it shortly after he gave the premiere of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”), and Tuck suggests that it was an homage of sorts. In fact, it’s hard to say. The work is indeed in E flat major, like Beethoven’s concerto, and with its 20-minute first movement and 45-minute total length, it announces similar ambitions. Some passages seem to suggest the “Emperor” concerto, but elsewhere there are melodies closer to the Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 (“Pastoral”). In short, it’s a bit of a mess, although it does show Czerny’s virtuosity abundantly. It’s flanked by other works that offer a sampling of Czerny’s writing. Perhaps the most convincing is the Rondino sur un Thème favori de l’Opéra Le Maçon d’Auber, Op. 127, where Czerny is not responsible for the main material, and where he strikes a nice balance between pianism and melodic content. Tuck delivers clean performances that one imagines might have pleased Czerny. A major plus is the lively accompaniment by the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Richard Bonynge, nearly a nonagenarian when this album appeared in late 2019. As good a place as any to start exploring Czerny.


01 – Piano Concertino in C Major, Op. 210
02 – Andante & Rondo, Op. 213: I. Andante grazioso
03 – Andante & Rondo, Op. 213: II. Rondo
04 – Grand Concerto No. 2 in E-Flat Major: I. Adagio-Molto allegro vivace con brio
05 – Grand Concerto No. 2 in E-Flat Major: II. Andante grazioso
06 – Grand Concerto No. 2 in E-Flat Major: III. Rondo
07 – Rondino in A Major for Piano Quintet on a Theme from “Le maçon”, Op. 127 (Arr. for Piano & String Orchestra)

Produced by Tim Oldham. Engineered by Simon Eadon. Edited by Phil Rowlands.
Recorded on December 4-6, 2018 at St. Silas Church, Kentish Town, London.

Rosemary Tuck – piano
English Chamber Orchestra
Richard Bonynge – Conductor
Hugh Seenan – Principal Horn on “4-6”