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Carl CZERNY (1791-1857)
Piano Sonatas - Volume 3
CD 1
Piano Sonata No.10 in B flat Op.268 (1831) [29:20]
Rondino No.6 ‘Les Jours Passés’ on an original theme in E flat Op.42 (1823) [11:04]
Sonatine in G Op.251 (c.1830) [14:45]
Gran Capriccio in C minor Op.172 (c.1828) [13:40]
CD 2
Piano Sonata No.3 in F minor Op.57 (1824) [31:26]
Andante and Allegro [6:37]
Romance Op.755 No.13 (c.1845-50) [2:46]
Capriccio à la Fuga Op.89 (1826) [4:59]
Piano Sonata No.4 in G Op.65 (1824) [29:29]
Martin Jones (piano)
rec. June 2008 (Gran Capriccio) and December 2009 (Sonata No.3 and 4) and June 2010 (remainder), Wyastone, Monmouth
NIMBUS NI5872/73 [68:56 + 75:23]

Experience Classicsonline

Fresh from my enjoyment of volumes 1 and 2 in this series, I find that there’s no cessation in the latest release. As before, Martin Jones and the Nimbus team has elected to intersperse youthful and later works the better to construct artful programmes. And, as before, it takes two CDs per release at least to begin to do justice to Czerny’s prodigious output.
We start with the Tenth Sonata, completed in 1831. It opens boldly, dramatically, and virtuosically, qualities that are the sine qua non of Czerny performances too, as mediated by the ever brilliant Martin Jones. The slow movement, by contrast, is vested with great poetic distinction, a song adorned with bewitching ornaments and real depth. But Czerny doesn’t slumber too long in the world of poesy, as his Scherzo is almost militantly saucy, and the finale’s left hand figures generate an almost toccata-like ethos. The Rondino seems to hint at Haydn’s Emperor Quartet, whilst also advancing the claims of a limpid treble sonority and refined legerdemain. The Sonatine includes a deliciously lilting finale reflecting the generosity of his music making as much as elsewhere we are confronted with its exceptional digital demands. This first disc ends with the Gran Capriccio of c.1828, a much more turbulent affair, not least in bass staccati, relieved by the arrival, in the central slow movement, of a noble hymnal procession.
The second disc contains the Third and Fourth Sonatas. Both works date from 1824. The Third is rather less developed and interesting than the later Tenth. Martin Jones takes the slow movement at a bit of a rollicking tempo, and I’m not sure about the indication ‘Andante con molto ma serioso’, as it sounds more con moto than serioso throughout – no fault of Jones’s, doubtless. Czerny’s Romance, with its stratospherically high opus number of 755 was written at some point between 1845 and 1850 and is an absolute charmer, whereas he pays a Bachian homage in the Capriccio à la Fuga. There are some Beethovenian elements in the opening of the Fourth Sonata, and the slow movement is rich in chromatic and lyric interest. The finale meanwhile is playful, and effortlessly projected by Jones, who seems quite as adept in this repertoire as he had in the previous two volumes.
Nimbus’s slightly billowy sound has considerable warmth. The notes by Calum MacDonald are not only extensive but very engagingly written, and seal another outstanding release in this series.
Jonathan Woolf


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