Czerny: ‘Die Kunst des Präludierens’, op. 300
In his Opus 300 Carl Czerny compiled a unique keyboard compendium of all the stylistic facets of European music from the Baroque until far into the Romantic era – an audio history of music en miniature featuring preludes as our guides and an overwhelming variety of characters, forms, and pianistic invention. The 120 finely chiseled preludes range from the aphoristic extreme of ten to twenty seconds in length to the just as aphoristically packed narrative and rhapsodic forms of a maximum of three to four minutes. Their numerical midpoint is formed by sixteen very short interludes that are brilliant examples of modulations, each proceeding from C major to all the other major keys. Like most of the preludes from No. 60 to No. 71, they represent variants of this art form originally distinguished by improvisation: as interludes they build audio bridges from one (imaginary) work to the next and link what would appear to be beyond linking. The work of course is interpreted in its entirety on this release – by none other than Kolja Lessing, one of the most versatile musicians of our times and a violinist and pianist who combines interpretive and musicological work in his many significant contributions to music culture.