Franz Joseph Haydn, Paul Wranitzky

Haydn: Cello Concertos No. 1 & 2, Wranitzky: Cello Concerto Op. 27 in C major

Although more than 8 concerts for cello and orchestra are ascribed to Haydn, only two seem to be almost definitely ascribable to the Austrian composer: one in C major and the other in D major (in Van Hoboken’s theme catalog they are Hob. VIIb/1, composed between 1761 and 1765, and Hob. VIIb/2 – opera # 101 – dated 1783). They have become common repertoire, and are generally considered among the most interesting after Vivaldi’s (and among the finest of the 18th century anyway), marking the passage between the Baroque and the Classic period. The latter has become a must for the world’s greatest cellists: from Rostropovich to Fournier and Yo-Yo Ma. This recording ends with a far less known concert, especially among Mediterranean audiences. It’s by Moravian composer Pavel Vranický, whose name was later Germanized in Paul Wranitzky (Nová Říše, Moravia, 1756 – Vienna, 1808). History often dispenses fame or oblivion without any apparent reason. In fact Wranitzky, who today has to be reintroduced to the public, in his times was greatly appraised not just by the Habsburgs but by his colleague musicians as well: first of all Haydn himself, but also Mozart and Beethoven. Wranitzky, in fact, directed Beethoven’s 1st Symphony at the start of the new century: the 1800’s. Some critics believe his more than 50 string quartets to be even better than Mozart’s, while his Symphonies (about forty of which are still available today) can match Haydn’s with no sense of inferiority.

Iconography: Gianluca Corona, Composizione con peonia e conchiglie – 2014, oil on canvas glued on panel, cm 20×50 (Galleria Salamon)

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