Haydn: Cello Concertos - Natalie Clein. © 2020 OehmsClassics Musikproduktion GmbH

CD Spotlight

Haydn at his Light-hearted Best

Haydn Cello Concertos,
heartily recommended by GERALD FENECH

'... the brilliant and sparkling playing of Natalie Clein brings out all the beauty of this music.'


Among the cello concertos written by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), only two are deemed to be authentic: the first in C composed in the convoluted manner of the early 1760s and the second in D in the classical style of the 1780s. Anthony von Hoboken, the man who compiled the complete works catalogue of the composer, listed four more cello concertos, but none of them can really lay a claim to authenticity.

Indeed, the original score of the C major is likewise lost, but the existing copy is authenticated by Haydn's entry in the 'draft catalogue' in his own handwriting. It was composed prior to 1765 for Josef Franz Weigl, the cello soloist of the court orchestra in Eisenstadt, and the work is in purely 'gallant' manner with broad, frequently ornate melodic arches, drum basses in the outer movements and a beautifully expressive Adagio.

Listen — Haydn: Adagio (Cello Concerto in C)
(track 5, 3:23-4:21) © 2017, 2020 OehmsClassics Musikproduktion GmbH :

The second in D dates from 1783 and was written for the famous Bohemian cellist Anton Kraft. This concerto, with its lyrical Allegro moderato, a Romanza-style Adagio and a rousing and good-humoured Rondo, is one of Haydn's most attractive concertos and remains to this day a favourite with cellists of all ages.

Listen — Haydn: Rondo: Allegro (Cello Concerto in D)
(track 3, 0:01-1:00) © 2017, 2020 OehmsClassics Musikproduktion GmbH :

These ebullient pieces are Haydn at his light-hearted best. Wit, humour, melodic invention and lyricism abound, and the brilliant and sparkling playing of Natalie Clein brings out all the beauty of this music. Indeed, her innate musicality and genuine advocacy of these scores are absolutely incomparable, and her effortless virtuosity is consistently at the service of the composer.

Anyone who admires Haydn will want to have this disc, whose programme is further bolstered by the Adagio cantabile from Symphony No 13, considered by many to be a mini cello concerto.

Listen — Haydn: Adagio cantabile (Symphony No 13)
(track 7, 7:58-8:58) © 2017, 2020 OehmsClassics Musikproduktion GmbH :

This is exceptional music-making in great live sound-quality, complemented by a handsome booklet full of detailed knowledge that one would surely not want to miss. Heartily recommended.

Copyright © 29 June 2020 Gerald Fenech,
Gzira, Malta






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