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While Haydn’s symphonies receive plenty of recordings, his concertos merit our attention, too. The violin concertos are under-recorded, so it is good to have two sandwiching the better known Cello Concerto in C major.

Amandine Beyer is an eloquent soloist with her group, Gli Incogniti. Closely recorded, she is assertive and stylish. Her booklet note describes the perils of playing on gut strings; her polished performance belies those risks. The sprightliness of the opening movement of the first concerto contrasts with the spun-silk lines of the Adagio; the concluding Presto bursts with life. The fourth concerto is a touch more sophisticated.

Marco Ceccato is a big, bold soloist in the famous C major Cello Concerto (a piece far more often recorded on modern instruments, including versions by Rostropovich and Starker). Infinitely secure in the upper reaches demanded of him in the songful Adagio and nimble in the finale, Ceccato offers a strong account; but buy this for the violin concertos.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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