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Rosetti: Horn Concertos / Radek Baborak


Release Date: 02/10/2009 
Label:  Arte Nova   Catalog #: 927640   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Rosetti
Performer:  Radek Baborák
Conductor:  Johannes Moesus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

ROSETTI Horn Concertos: in E?, C43Q; in E, C52; in E?, C40; in E?, C47 Radek Baborák (hn); Johannes Moesus, cond; Bavarian CP ARTE NOVA 927640 (68:21)

When checking arkivmusic.com to see how many other recordings of (Francesco) Antonio Rosetti’s horn concertos there are, I was very surprised to find Read more scarcely anything. Cpo has covered the clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and two-horns concerto trail in a boxed set. But apart from a 12-year-old EBS release with Ifor James that offers two horn concerts, I see no dedicated Rosetti disc of these works.

That’s a shame, as it turns out, because Bohemian-born Antonio Rosetti, aka Anton Rös(s)ler (1750–92), wrote terrific music that is very much worth hearing. If you check Fanfare ’s online archive or your back issues you will find that every Fanfare reviewer who has come across Rosetti seems to agree: Swanson, Brenesal, and Chien could be summarized by Carter’s conclusion (reviewing violin concertos and symphonies in 29:6), “If you like Mozart and Haydn, there’s no doubt you’ll quickly warm to [Rosetti].”

Perhaps that description seems so very apt because I am listening to this disc, as I write these lines, in the congenial surrounding of a Viennese coffee house on a Sunday morning, where even the banal can appear in a Mozartean sugarcoating. Apart from Rosetti’s music decidedly not being kitsch or derivative, though, this music would put smiles on any so-inclined faces from Boise to Bangalore.

Constant comparison—usually kind but patronizing—to Mozart doesn’t do justice to Rosetti, because listening to good music isn’t a competition unless someone only has space and time for no more than four horn concertos from the Classical period. If you have room for at least four more, you might make them these. This is truly enjoyable music that can withstand focused listening but also serves well as—dare I say it—background music.

Johannes Moesus, who conducts the exceptionally well-playing Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic on this disc recorded by Bavarian Radio 2001 and reissued by Arte Nova, is something of a specialist, with three Rosetti discs on cpo and two on MDG already to his name. Radek Baborák, 1994 first-prize winner at the ARD Competition, has been first horn of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, solo horn of the Munich Philharmonic, and is now the solo horn of the Berlin Philharmonic. His performance is, not surprisingly, superb.

Everything—music, performances, sound—about this Rosetti disc is compelling, giving cause for temperate enthusiasm, something that can’t be said about every Arte Nova release. The numbering is taken from Stephen E. Murray’s 1996 catalog of Rosetti’s works. C47 is apocryphal. There are 10 more extant horn concertos of Rosetti out there: bring them on.

FANFARE: Jens F. Laurson Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Horn in E flat major, K 3 no 39 by Antonio Rosetti
Performer:  Radek Baborák (Horn)
Conductor:  Johannes Moesus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 18th Century; Bohemia 
2. Concerto for Horn in E major by Antonio Rosetti
Performer:  Radek Baborák (Horn)
Conductor:  Johannes Moesus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 18th Century; Bohemia 
3. Concerto for Horn no 2 in E flat major by Antonio Rosetti
Performer:  Radek Baborák (Horn)
Conductor:  Johannes Moesus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 18th Century; Bohemia 
4. Concerto for Horn no 6 in E flat major by Antonio Rosetti
Performer:  Radek Baborák (Horn)
Conductor:  Johannes Moesus
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 18th Century; Bohemia 

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