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Haydn: Eight Concerti / Schornsheim, Utiger, Neue Dusseldorfer Hofmusik


Release Date: 08/25/2009 
Label:  Capriccio Records   Catalog #: 5022   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Christine Schornsheim
Conductor:  Mary Utiger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 13 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



HAYDN Organ Concertos: in C, Hob XVIII:1; in C, Hob XVIII:8; in C, Hob XVIII:10. Fortepiano Concertos: in G, Hob XVIII:4; in D, Hob. XVIII:11. Harpsichord Concertos: in D, Hob XVIII:2 in F, Hob XVIII:3; in C, Hob XVIII:5 Read more Christine Schornsheim (org, hpd, fp); Mary Utiger (vn, cond); Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik (period instruments) CAPRICCIO 5022 (2 CDs: 131:18)


Many of us tend to pigeonhole composers; we think of Beethoven and Brahms as symphonists (and rightly so) and associate the name of Mozart with his 20-odd piano concertos. With Haydn we might answer with either the symphony or his unassailable settings of the Latin Mass. Seldom—if ever­—is the gentleman from Rohrau, Lower Austria, thought of as a composer of concertos. But Haydn wrote a respectable number of them, including ones for flute, bassoon, and double bass that are irretrievably lost. Surviving ones include two each for horn and cello, one for trumpet and a number for keyboard as well. Although Haydn’s gifts as a keyboard performer were not comparable to those of Mozart, Haydn was a confident, not to mention accomplished performer, shown not only in the numerous surviving keyboard sonatas, but also in the solo parts of the keyboard concertos. With the exception of Hob XVIII: 11—the Concerto that concludes with the “all’ungarese,” or “Gypsy Rondo”—all of Haydn’s keyboard concertos were written before 1770.


The question of a solo instrument in these concertos is not an easy one to put to bed. The compass of the solo part in the five earliest concertos (Hob XVIII:1, 2, 5, 8, and 10) suggests the organ, with the first of these designated on the manuscript as “Concerto per l’organo.” But in his own catalog of compositions, Haydn wrote “per il clavicembalo,” so it seems that substitutions as pursued here by Schornsheim in the aforementioned concertos are entirely appropriate. However, in the later concertos (Hob XVIII:3, 4, and 11), the solo instrument was more than likely intended to be the harpsichord, the instrument of choice in Austria until around 1780. This explains the designation of the solo instrument in hand-written copies. But in the published versions, generally after the mid 1780s, the performer is offered a choice of either harpsichord or fortepiano.


As for the music itself, it is unquestionably solidly written, but it is not the Haydn of the middle or late symphonies; his comparative lack of interest in the keyboard concerto speaks volumes of his course and objective as a composer, as well as of the popular trend of the period. Beginning in the 1760s, the symphony emerged as the most accomplished form of orchestral music, and most composers placed the concerto in lesser regard. In Johann Georg Sulzer’s General Theory of the Beautiful Arts , we read that concertos were “nothing more than an exercise for the composer and performer, and an entirely indefinable, aimless diversion for the ear.”


Last year, Naxos released two CDs of Haydn’s keyboard concertos: the first disc (8.570485) contains Hob XVIII:3, 4, 9, and 11 performed by pianist Sebastian Knauer and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. The second (8.570486) offers another five concertos, Hob XVIII: 1, 8, and 10 played by organist Ketil Haugsand and Hob XVIII:5 and 7 in performances by harpsichordist Harald Hoeren, both with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. But all of the music on the Naxos discs may not be by Haydn, for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians lists Hob XVIII:7 and 9 as spurious, with the first possibly written by Georg Christoph Wagenseil. There is also a period-instrument set of these concertos included in the 150-CD Haydn commemorative edition issued by the Dutch label Brilliant Classics, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it simply for the keyboard concertos unless they are something that you simply cannot live without, especially since the new Capriccio releases are now available stateside.


Schornsheim’s talents are hardly challenged by this music; her playing exhibits sparkling virtuosity and an exceptional sense of line. The outer movements exude typical Haydnesque vigor and the slow movements are appropriately lyrical, with nicely shaped melodic lines as well as fluent but never tedious ornamentation. Energetic, vibrant, and colorful, these comfortably paced performances are supported with sympathetic and precise, but never antiseptic playing from Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik, their biting brass and potent timpani adding much ceremonial pomp to Hob XVIII:1 and 8.


FANFARE: Michael Carter
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Organ no 1 in C major, H 18 no 1 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Christine Schornsheim (Organ)
Conductor:  Mary Utiger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1756; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 19 Minutes 2 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Keyboard in D major, H 18 no 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Christine Schornsheim (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Mary Utiger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1767; Austria 
Length: 20 Minutes 53 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Organ no 3 in C major, H 18 no 5 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Christine Schornsheim (Harpsichord)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1763; Austria 
Length: 10 Minutes 30 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Keyboard in G major, H 18 no 4 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Christine Schornsheim (Fortepiano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1781; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Length: 20 Minutes 25 Secs. 
5.
Concerto for Keyboard in D major, H 18 no 11 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Christine Schornsheim (Fortepiano)
Conductor:  Mary Utiger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1784; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Length: 19 Minutes 2 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for Organ in C major, H 18 no 10 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Christine Schornsheim (Organ)
Conductor:  Mary Utiger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Length: 20 Minutes 53 Secs. 
7.
Concerto for Keyboard in F major, H 18 no 3 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Christine Schornsheim (Harpsichord)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771; Austria 
Length: 10 Minutes 30 Secs. 
8.
Concerto for Organ in C major, H 18 no 8 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Christine Schornsheim (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1766; Austria 
Length: 20 Minutes 25 Secs. 

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