Haydn: Cello Concertos, Hob. VIIb:1, 2 & 4

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Haydn
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Cello Concertos, Hob. VIIb:1, 2 & 4
PERFORMER: Maria Kliegel (cello); Cologne CO/Helmut Müller-Brühl
CATALOGUE NO: 8.555041
This disc complements existing Naxos performances of Haydn’s cello concertos by Ludovít Kanta and the Capella Istropolitana, and Maria Kliegel’s energetic and stylish playing fits the bill nicely. Her reading of the familiar D major work is a sonorous and lucid one. Passing caveats might include laboured rallentandi before fermatas at the end of the opening movement’s second group (once is fine; more, and this becomes an unmusical mannerism), and a big vibrato that’s not always quite apt for this music. Kliegel’s performance (its sinewy tonal core is suggestive of Christine Walevska’s fiery 1972 Philips recording) has pleasing vivacity that derives from generally brisk tempi, if not to any particular lightness of touch. For that, go to Truls Mørk’s outstanding Virgin performance with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, much the best version on modern instruments.

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Maria Kliegel gives a sprightly account of the C major Concerto, but her choice of cadenzas (minimally elaborated versions of those provided by Milos Sádlo for the first modern published edition) isn’t adventurous, though the performance (especially the finale) is undeniably impressive. A useful budget offering; incidentally, the unauthenticated D major Concerto sandwiched between its regularly performed fellows is a delightful work, too, and otherwise unavailable on disc. Michael Jameson