Jean-Guihen Queyras

Haydn: Concertos pour violoncelle

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This admirable Harmonia Mundi release presents Franz Josef Haydn's two cello concertos and the Cello Concerto in G minor by Georg Matthias Monn with the luster of period instruments; refined, idiomatic playing; and exceptional sound quality, with full resonance; and cellist Jean-Guihan Queyras and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, directed by Petra Müllejans, render these works with exquisite details and emotional depth. In a real sense, their performances are acts of rediscovery, for Haydn's cello concertos have become routine fare from too many modern renditions, and Monn's piece is unfamiliar from too few performances. Indeed, all three concertos have suffered the vagaries of preservation and interpretation. Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major was once considered lost until its discovery in 1961; the Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major suffered false attribution and its authorship was debated until the appearance of the manuscript in 1954; and Monn's concerto survived only in an arrangement for harpsichord and strings until Arnold Schoenberg edited it in 1912. To set the record straight, this disc presents the concertos intelligently refurbished, with appropriate eighteenth century style and color. Through their insightful scholarship and sensitive performances, Queyras and Müllejans have produced a fine alternative to the less authentic mainstream recordings.

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