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Anton Kuerti - Czerny Festival

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The World's First Carl Czerny Music Festival and International Symposium
June 13-26, 2002, Edmonton, Alberta

7 Exciting Concerts of Music Hidden for 2 Centuries

Presented by The University of Alberta and The Canadian Centre for Austrian and Central European Studies

Festival Director: Anton Kuerti

Featured Artists:

  • Edmonton Symphony Orchestra with conductor Grzegorz Nowak

  • St. Lawrence String Quartet

  • Yaara Tal Andreas Groethuysen, piano duo

  • Benjamin Butterfield, tenor

  • Anton Kuerti, piano

  • Stephane Lemelin, piano

  • Erica Raum, violin

  • Festival Choir

  • Leonard Ratzlaff, choral conductor

at the Winspear Centre and the University of Albert Convocation Hall, Edmonton

Festival Repertoire:

  • Two Sonatas and other works for Piano 4-hands

  • Variations Brillantes, Op. 297 on a theme by Bellini for 1 piano 6-hands

  • Variations op. 1, for Piano and Violin

  • String Quartet in E minor

  • String Quintet in c minor

  • Piano Quartet in c minor

  • Lieder

  • Serenade, Op. 126, for Piano, Clarinet, Horn & Cello

  • Trio in A Major, Op. 166

  • Overture in c minor

  • Concerto for Piano Four Hands

  • Symphony in G minor

  • Organ Works

  • Violin Sonata in A Major

  • String Quartet in E minor

  • Piano Solo Works

  • String Quintet in C Major

  • Overture in E Major

  • Two Graduals

  • Offertorium Benedicat nos Deus, Op. 737 with clarinet obligato

  • Offertorium Exsulta filia Sion, Op. 155

  • Mass in C Major

CBC radio recorded everything except the organ music. Look for broadcasts July 15, 16 and 17, 2002, in two-hour programs each evening, coast to coast throughout Canada.

What the critics say:

Edmonton Czerny festival reveals overlooked classical master to rest of world
Four-day homage wrapped up Sunday with gala choral concert at Winspear

D.T. Baker, Special to The Journal
Edmonton Journal

Monday, June 17, 2002

From now on, any discussion about the worth of the music of composer Carl Czerny can at least take place from a more enlightened perspective. And the musical world has a Canadian pianist and Edmonton to thank for it.

The famous -- and infamous -- creator of countless torturous piano exercises has been revealed as a composer of great merit, and not insubstantial mastery. Over the last four days, the Carl Czerny Music Festival, a brainchild of Austrian-born Canadian pianist Anton Kuerti, has presented many unknown works by Czerny -- many of them world premieres -- at Convocation Hall and the Winspear Centre.

Some outstanding musicians made as strong a case as possible for the "serious" works of Czerny, works which he wrote by the hundreds, mostly to simply languish in obscurity while his pedagogic pieces made money for him.

The least of Czerny's works as presented during the festival were still competent, exhibiting craft, if not a compelling spark. But at their greatest -- and this festival had some of those, without question -- Edmonton was witness to pieces which deserve to take their place in the repertoire.

The Krumpholz Variations (played at the festival by Kuerti and violinist Erika Raum), a work of a precocious 14-year-old Czerny, are of that calibre. So too the E minor String Quartet, which received its world premiere in a performance of heat and eloquence by the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Saturday night's orchestral concert presented a piano four-hands concerto with classical lines, given a strong presentation by pianists Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen.

The Saturday afternoon chamber recital and the choral concert which concluded the festival Sunday showed that Czerny could write beautiful music for the voice. Tenor Benjamin Butterfield, beautifully accompanied by Stephane Lemelin, premiered a set of songs that included Czerny's own version of Der Erlkonig.

Leonard Ratzlaff led a fine festival choir through a truly beautiful Exsulta filia Sion and an orchestral overture that was also very special.

Kuerti, and the U of A's Centre for Austrian and Central European Studies deserve praise for their efforts. Crowds of around 300 were typical for nearly every show -- which may make one think that Edmonton might not have been the best venue for such an event.

But Would Houses Have Been Any Larger in a City Other Than Czerny's Own -- Vienna? It Was in Edmonton the Resources Were Found, and We Got to Hear This Music First.


Jonathan Wentworth Associates, LTD.
12/01/09 07:39:26 AM