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Romantic Piano Fantasies

Romantic Piano Fantasies

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Carl Czerny’s instructional exercises may be his lasting legacy but there remain numerous largely forgotten pieces that reveal important elements of his compositional range. The four Romantic Fantasies named after Sir Walter Scott’s famous Waverley novels are piano duets of epic breadth. In them Czerny ingeniously develops popular Scottish melodies, including the use of the ‘Scotch snap’, to generate a vivid programmatic quality that explores numerous genres. Scherzos, fugal passages, chorales and marches are all featured, and raise the music – full of beauty, virtuosity and unpredictability – to orchestral proportions.


Though the majority of Czerny's more than 800 works were for solo piano, there were also works intended for use in public concerts, such as the four Romantic Fantasies for piano duet composed in 1832. Each is of sizeable proportions and based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott, Czerny having been an avid reader. They used the stories that were recounted in Waverley, Guy Mannering, Ivanhoe and Rob Roy, and in his thematic material he appropriately used Scottish and English traditional melodies. Technically they are highly demanding, particularly in the many mercurial passages for the right hand of the ‘Primo’ pianist, and proved a very testing time for Pei-I Wang in Waverley. The second Fantasy, in a mood of quiet suspense, leads to the military atmosphere that opens Ivanhoe, and finally he cast Rob Roy as a weighty finale. Mid-way through the disc the North American-based duo exchange places, Samuel Gingher becoming the ‘Primo’, the young duo here offering World Premiere Recordings made in 2019. A discovery that has given me considerable pleasure.

– David's Review Corner (David Denton)

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Product Description:

  • Release Date: September 10, 2021

  • UPC: 747313909971

  • Catalog Number: 8579099

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Carl Czerny

  • Performer: Pei-I Wang, Samuel Gingher