The Andante e Polacca
is the only piece for horn and piano by Czerny not published in his lifetime. This suggests that it may have been written for a special occasion. Like Mendelssohn, Brahms and other composers, Czerny continued to compose for the natural horn after the valved horn became prevalent throughout much of Europe. As John Humphreys suggests, Czerny may have been inspired by a visit to Vienna from French virtuoso natural horn-player, Eugène Vivier, for whom Rossini wrote his Prelude, Theme and Variations
. As in the finale of the Introduction, Theme and Concert Variations
, Czerny was perhaps influenced by one of the several other polaccas composed earlier in the century for the horn. The most famous of these is the last movement of Weber’s Concertino, which similarly exploits the highest and lowest notes of the instrument. The solo horn in both of these works revels in the innate joie de vivre of fanfares, flourishes and arpeggios derived from the harmonic series while Czerny’s piano part glitters in cascades of notes that rival Chopin’s compositions and leave no avenue of the instrument unexplored.
from notes by Andrew Clark © 2000