Haydn scholar H.C. Robbins Landon described Haydn’s D major cello concerto as one of the composer’s “weakest compositions”, an “uncomfortable” work, displaying “misjudgments of dramatic timing”, its concluding rondo “staid and melodically short-winded”. Whatever the theoretical, and to some degree subjective basis for that assessment, for most listeners, hearing this concerto will provoke nothing short of pure delight and appreciation for Haydn’s clever and catchy—and often virtuosic—thematic writing, buoyant rhythms, and thoroughly entertaining interplay between soloist and orchestra. There’s a reason why the work is represented on more than 100 recordings in the current CD catalog. And WendyRead more Warner’s addition to that number is a stellar confirmation of its popularity to audiences and particular appeal to performers.
That same popularity applies to the C major concerto, written in the 1760s, some 20 years earlier than the D major, yet only re-discovered in 1961 and given its modern premiere in Prague a year later. This work features even more brilliant bursts of virtuosic writing for the soloist—and Warner really digs in: you can just picture the flashing bow strokes, the swift, fluid motion of fingers, and a resultant musical enunciation that seems so easily and effortlessly produced, so absolutely natural, and so articulate and artful that you wouldn’t care if the tune were “Twinkle, twinkle little star”, you’d be just as impressed and satisfied. In fact, in view of the grand heap of Haydn cello concerto recordings, Warner’s playing places this one at the very top.
Warner’s impressive command of style and technique also serve to convince us that the “other” concerto on the program—a little-known work by Czech composer, and friend of Mozart, Joseph Myslivecek—is a more than worthy companion to the Haydn pieces; in fact, if you’re not paying very close attention, you won’t notice the transition from the Haydn C major concerto to Myslivecek’s work in the same key—the style and quality of Myslivecek’s composition makes an easy, almost seamless flow from one piece to the next. Combining this work with the two Haydn concertos was a smart bit of programming that, along with the unquestioned virtuoso performances of Wendy Warner, gives this disc an extraordinary value not only for collectors but for those who have yet to acquire a recording of these essential Haydn works. Praise for the orchestra and its conductor Drostan Hall must not go without mention—they are outstanding collaborators whose appropriately styled, energetic playing and remarkably tight ensemble complement every note and expressive utterance from Warner’s Guarneri cello. The sound, from College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, is consistent with Cedille’s highest standard. Don’t miss this.
Concerto for Cello no 1 in C major, H 7b no 1by Franz Joseph Haydn Performer:
Wendy Warner (Cello)
Period: Classical Written: circa 1761-1765; Eszterhazá, Hungary Venue: College Church, Wheaton, IL Length: 25 Minutes 33 Secs.
Concerto for Cello in C majorby Josef Myslivecek Performer:
Wendy Warner (Cello)
Period: Classical Written: Bohemia Venue: College Church, Wheaton, IL Length: 20 Minutes 5 Secs.
Concerto for Cello no 2 in D major, Op. 101/H 7b no 2by Franz Joseph Haydn Performer:
Wendy Warner (Cello)
Period: Classical Written: 1783; Eszterhazá, Hungary Venue: College Church, Wheaton, IL Length: 26 Minutes 1 Secs.
Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob.VIIb:1: I. Moderato
Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob.VIIb:1: II. Adagio
Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob.VIIb:1: III. Finale: Allegro molto
Cello Concerto in C Major: I. Allegro moderato
Cello Concerto in C Major: II. Grave
Cello Concerto in C Major: III. Tempo di minuetto
Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Major, Hob.VIIb:2: I. Allegro moderato
Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Major, Hob.VIIb:2: II. Adagio
Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Major, Hob.VIIb:2: III. Rondo: Allegro
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Appealing on every levelSeptember 26, 2013By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA)See All My Reviews"An appealing program played by a masterful virtuoso. That's my impression of this new release from Cedille. As with many recordings, this Chicago-based label uses local talent -- but what talent it is! Drostan Hall and the Camerata Chicago perform with precision and sensitivity admirably suited to Haydn. And Wendy Warner, though from Chicago, is an internationally-recognized cellist who brings a fresh interpretation to some well-known works. <br />
The two cello concertos of Franz Joseph Haydn have long been repertoire staples, and just about every major cellist has recorded them. Warner's performances are expressive without being overly dramatic. The clear, singing tone of her Guarneri cello is beautiful -- and beautifully recorded. And Warner's interpretation, accompanied by a small ensemble, makes these works sound warmly intimate. <br />
Sandwiched between the Haydn concertos on the album is Josef Myslivecek's only concerto for cello. A contemporary of Haydn (and friend of Mozart), Myslivecek's wrote in a similar style that nicely complements the Haydn concerti. And the Myslivecek concerto does not suffer for the comparison. Myslivecek wrote in a leaner, more straight-forward manner, bringing the aesthetics of the classical style to the forefront of his music."Report Abuse
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