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VANHAL: Cello Concertos

Sinfonietta Panonica / Péter Szabó, vc
Hungaroton 32635 - 69 minutes

Jan Krtitel Vanhal (1739-1813) was one of the great Bohemian composers of his day. He was born into a simple peasant family and had his first training at the hands of local musicians. By the 1760s he moved to Vienna, where his talents as a violinist were much admired. In later life he was so popular that he needed no aristocratic patronage.

The three works recorded here were written 1785 to 1787. Péter Szabó discovered their manuscripts in the Prague National Museum, which explains why I have never heard any of them before. All (or both) are typical of the Haydn-Mozart style and are basically on that level. The two Concertos in C are the same piece as recorded from two quite different manuscripts. The differences in the length of movements between the two are: 6:27 and 12:14; 6:30 and 9:41; and 6:21 and 3:59. The total times are 19:24 and 26:04.

Performances are fine and the recordings are superb. The notes are less thorough than desired.


American Record Guide
March/April 2011


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