Haydn – Concerti per Esterhazy
Amandine Beyer, solo violin
Marco Ceccato, solo cello
Harmonia Mundi, 2018
The marvellous recording Concerti per Esterhazy brings together two Violin Concertos and a Cello Concerto that composer Franz Joseph Haydn wrote while employed at the Esterházy Court for two gifted performers: violinist and Konzertmeister Luigi Tomasini and cellist Joseph Weigl. The three concertos are only a small fraction of what Haydn composed in Esterháza for these two instruments, as three more violin concertos (one lost) and another cello concerto are documented. However, this selection is enough to have a taste of Haydn’s gallant style and to realize the degree of accomplishment he required from his dedicatees.
The task to perform in an outstanding manner the three concertos is wonderfully carried out by the skilful ensemble Gli Incogniti, together with violinist Amandine Beyer (who recorded with them also Concerti per due violini and The Four Seasons) and cellist Marco Ceccato.
As the other projects by Gli Incogniti, this album too is a delightful musical journey. Their playing is characterized by warmth, brightness and especially by a subtle grace that suits effectively Haydn’s elegant music and that reveals from time to time brilliant impetus (in the Finale from the Violin Concerto in C major), witty impertinence (Cello Concerto) or sparkling gaiety (Violin Concerto in G major).
For her part, Beyer is equally fine and revealing. Her exuberant performance is remarkable for its sympathy and profundity and there is not a moment when she is not expressive. This is the case, for example, of the Allegro moderato from the Concerto in C major, where she is at the same time graceful and witty, but also of her delicate rendition of the Adagio from the Concerto in C major and of her dazzling playing in the Concerto in G major.
Finally, Ceccato adds a touch of sweet melancholy to the Cello Concerto, where his instrument inspires wise and profound thoughts and where the cellist’s technical finish is really riveting in the dizzying tour-de-force of the finale.