Rosetti: Symphony in C, A9; Symphony in D, A12; Symphony in F, A33; Symphony in G, A40

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LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Symphony in C, A9; Symphony in D, A12; Symphony in F, A33; Symphony in G, A40
PERFORMER: London Mozart Players/Matthias Bamert
Imitating Haydn symphonies became a European speciality in the last three decades of the 18th century. Literally hundreds were written, by composers from Carlos Baguer in Catalonia to Joseph Martin Kraus in Sweden. Dozens were published under Haydn’s name. It was no wonder that even a cultivated listener in Paris (the centre of the music publishing world at that time) would have found it difficult in 1790 to define Haydn’s symphonic style.


Antonio Rosetti (born Franz Anton Rösler in German-speaking Bohemia – it was better business to sport an Italian name) lived from c1750 to 1792 and began to write popular and successful neo-Haydn symphonies in about 1773, when he entered the service of the Prince of Oettingen-Wallerstein in Germany. He remained there until 1789, when he became Kapellmeister to the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.


Rosetti is very well served with both these recordings, one on period instruments by the celebrated Concerto Köln (the second volume in a series of Rosetti symphonies), and one on modern instruments brilliantly conducted by Matthias Bamert. It’s a pity that both discs include two of the same works. Your choice will probably depend on your view of period versus modern instruments; both CDs are highly recommended. HC Robbins Landon