George-Emmanuel Lazaridis / Vicky Yannoula

Beethoven: Symphonies 1 & 5 (arr. Carl Czerny)

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From the early 19th century to the early 20th, musicians and classical buffs often learned the great orchestral works from piano transcriptions, usually in the form of duets for piano, four hands. This album of Carl Czerny's arrangements of the Symphony No. 1 in C minor and the Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven gives a clear and compelling demonstration of the practice, though Vicky Yannoula and George-Emmanuel Lazaridis play with more polish and precision than most amateur musicians of Beethoven's day would have. Yannoula and Lazaridis make their debut on Resonus with this disc, and it is the first volume of a projected series of Czerny's arrangements of Beethoven's symphonies. Listeners who know the original scores may find these piano versions useful for hearing details with fresh ears, even though they may seem quaint and comical, in part because of the diminished impact of the piano and because some of the effects Czerny employed may seem a bit corny today. All the same, this recording is helpful for appreciating what he did to study great music that was not readily available outside the concert hall. This CD is recommended for students of music history.

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