Although this Bohemian composer, a contemporary of J. S. Bach, was highly esteemed by the musicians of his day, it’s difficult for us to fully appreciate his worth because he only left us far too few works.
His life fluctuated between Prague, where he studied, became a monk and served as organist from 1720-1731, and Italy, where he was organist at Assisi (1710-15) and Padoua (1715-20 and 1731-41). He was apparently a famous organist and, even more, and a sought-after teacher : hasn’t he been credited with students such as Seger, Zach, or even Gluck and Tartini ?
His works were undoubtedly destroyed in the 1754 fire at Saint Jack’s Church in Prague. And among the small collection of twelve organ pieces attributed to Czernohorsky, five of them were in fact composed by Muffat, Froberger and Kuhnau. The others raise strong doubts as to their real authorship ! Among these fugues, the one in a-minor is noteworthy, for the impulsive freshness of its subject, its skillful writing, its well-balanced tonal structure and proportions. It’s truly a small miracle of dancing grace.
The modern editions (especially that of F. Michalek, publ. by Orbis, Prague, 1949) use the pedalboard to play the bass line. We believe, on the contrary, that playing it manualiter is much more advantageous. Nothing prevents this, and even less the two pedal points on the dominant and the tonic before the conclusion, which can be played on the pedalboard. This was a common practice in Italy, a country which Czernohorsky often frequented.
Our edition therefore proposes a score which can be played only on the manuals, with the possibility of playing the two long dominant and tonic pedal points on the pedal-board.