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Haydn: Concertos For Violoncello And Orchestra

Haydn / Muller
Release Date: 01/11/2011 
Label:  Camerata Records   Catalog #: 28211   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Othmar Muller
Conductor:  Martin Kerschbaum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Soloists
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HAYDN Cello Concertos: in C; in D. HAYDN (attributed) Cello Concerto in D Othmar Müller, cello; Martin Kerschbaum, cond; Salzburg Soloists CAMERATA CMCD-28211 (72:16)


I have often commented that period and modern performances have been creeping closer together for some time. This disc could be exhibit A. The performing ensemble is an odd conflation of musicians from eight German and Austrian orchestras, bonded Read more together in Salzburg to form a miniscule modern-instrument chamber group: string quartet plus various winds. Then, to play these concertos, they have added unspecified string players to bring the section up to about 10. Whatever the raison d’être , the results are splendid: gleaming tone and precise pitch, without sacrificing the unity of an experienced quartet. A more beautiful ensemble tone is difficult to imagine, on instruments period, modern, or extraterrestrial. Camerata’s recorded sound brings it all to sparkling life.


Othmar Müller is a renowned cellist, recently heard in premiere performances and recordings (Naxos) of Zemlinsky cello music. He coaxes beautiful, rich tone from a 1573 Andrea Amati instrument. His performance of the D-Major Concerto reminds me of my favorite LP version, played by Maurice Gendron and conducted by Pablo Casals, which was the first recording of Haydn’s original score and an early step toward period practice. Solidifying the connection, Muller plays Gendron’s cadenza.


Is this, then, the long-awaited definitive coupling of Haydn’s two concertos? I’m afraid not. The orchestral tutti in the first two movements of the C-Major Concerto are played with bouncy, stop-and-start phrasing that denies the Moderato its energetic forward movement and the Adagio its breadth of spirit, even hinting at “Papa Haydn.” The finale is fine, and the entire D-Major Concerto is excellent—worthy of a first-choice recommendation. For the C Major, I heartily recommend a Dux disc played by Ivan Monighetti, which I called “the performance of a lifetime” in Fanfare 33:6.


The many fine qualities found here elevate the attributed Concerto in D (Hob. VIIb:4, if you must know, although I hate to give that much recognition to a non-Haydn work). There are moments in its opening Allegretto that no doubt led to the misattribution, and this performance does them more than justice. Even these wonderful players, however, cannot resuscitate the following Adagio and Allegro. But a CD must be filled, lest Fanfare reviewers complain of short timing.


FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Cello no 1 in C major, H 7b no 1 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Othmar Muller (Cello)
Conductor:  Martin Kerschbaum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Soloists
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1761-1765; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Venue:  Aula Alte University, Salzburg 
Length: 25 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Cello no 2 in D major, Op. 101/H 7b no 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Othmar Muller (Cello)
Conductor:  Martin Kerschbaum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Soloists
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Venue:  Aula Alte University, Salzburg 
Length: 24 Minutes 7 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Cello no 4 in D major, H 7b no 4 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Othmar Muller (Cello)
Conductor:  Martin Kerschbaum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Soloists
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Aula Alte University, Salzburg 
Length: 22 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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