Accompanied by Arcangelo, one of the world's leading ensembles bringing together exceptional musicians who excel on both historical and modern instruments, under the direction of founder, artistic director and conductor Jonathan Cohen (b. 1977), the award-winning German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt (b. 1982) performs Joseph Haydn's Cello Concerto No.1 in C major. The concert was recorded at Maribor Festival, Slovenia, on September 6, 2016.
Composed between 1761 and 1765 for Joseph Weigl, a gifted cellist in Haydn's Esterházy orchestra, this concerto was presumed lost until 1961, when it turned up the National Museum in Prague among documents originally from Radenin Castle. High virtuosity is demanded of the cellist, as in the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Symphonies (in which Haydn provided solos especially for Weigl). What Haydn did not provide are authenticated cadenzas for the first and second movements; cellists generally employ either anonymous eighteenth century cadenzas, or those prepared since 1961.
The first movement, marked Moderato, begins with a confident, courtly theme with dotted rhythms; in contrast, the second subject is softer and more sinuous, establishing a more lyrical mood. The mildly syncopated orchestral exposition ends with Lombardic rhythms at the conclusion of the orchestral introduction. When the cello enters and takes command of the themes, it launches the first theme with a resonant C major chord, eventually presenting each melody in an increasingly ornate manner. The development engages the cellist in intense passagework derived from the primary theme, while reappearances of the second subject allow the soloist to sing more expansively. Haydn works through the theme groups in sequence twice before reaching the cadenza and a brief coda derived from the movement's opening measures.
The Adagio dispenses with the orchestra's oboes and horns, leaving the soloist to emerge from the sound of the string orchestra with a long, powerfully expressive note. The noble, somewhat melancholic, first theme requires an especially strong tone from the cello, while its answering subject calls for double stops. The movement's shadowy middle section derives from a theme almost as austere as one from a Baroque church sonata, yet encourages the cellist to play with a warm, expressive tone. The third section is an abbreviated repetition of the first one.
Last comes an Allegro molto finale which pretty much follows the ritornello form found in many Vivaldi concertos. The orchestra establishes a fleet theme that recurs, as in a rondo, throughout the rest of the movement. As in the slow movement, almost every time the cello enters, it emerges from the orchestra with a single, long note; this time, however, the long note metamorphoses into a rapidly ascending C major scale. However, while expected to execute intricate high-register passagework which includes rapid scales, the cellist also has an opportunity to interpret melodic phrases of exceptional lyricism.
Source: James Reel (allmusic.com)
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
♪ Cello Concerto No.1 in C major, Hob.VIIb/1 (1761-1765)
iii. Allegro molto
Nicolas Altstaedt, cello
Conductor and harpsichord: Jonathan Cohen
Maribor Festival, Slovenia, September 6, 2016
Renowned worldwide for his musical integrity and effortless virtuosity German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt (b. 1982) is one of the most sought after and versatile artists today. As a soloist, conductor and artistic director of he enthralls audiences with repertoire spanning from the baroque to the contemporary.
At the beginning at the 2017-2018 season he performed the highly acclaimed Finnish Premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's new cello concerto under the baton of the composer at the Helsinki Festival. He will be Artist in Spotlight at the Concertgebouw in 2017-2018 and Artist in Residence 2018-2019 at the NDR Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, where is going to perform with Krzysztof Urbanski, Hannu Lintu and Christoph Eschenbach. Later on he will be touring major european venues with the SWR Orchestra with Teodor Currentzis, the BBCSO, La Chambre Philharmonique with Emanuel Krivine and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Further engagements include debuts performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Suntory Hall, Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin with Juraj Valcuha, the Scottish Chamber as Soloist and conductor, Orchestre National de Belgique, Hongkong Sinfonietta and Les Violons du Roy as well as returning to the Deutsche Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin with Robin Ticciati.
Awarded the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2010, he gave a highly acclaimed performance of the Schumann concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Lucerne Festival. Since then he has performed worldwide with orchestras such as the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne- and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras working with conductors like Sir Roger Norrington, Andrew Manze, Lahav Shani, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Fedosseev, Leif Segerstam, Dmitri Slobodeniouk, Alexander Shelley, Fabien Gabel, Joshua Weilerstein, Gustavo Gimeno, Giovanni Antonini and Andrea Marcon amongst many others.
In recital, Nicolas performs solo and with partners Fazil Say and Alexander Lonquich. He will tour both Europe and the US and will visit Istanbul, London Wigmore Hall, Bozar, Tonhalle Zurich, Koerner Hall Toronto, Theatre des Champs-Elysées, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and New York Carnegie Hall amongst others.
In Autumn 2017 Nicolas toured Australia extensively as part of a Musica Viva Recital tour with Aleksandar Madzar.
As a chamber musician, Nicolas regularly plays with Janine Jansen, Vilde Frang, Andreas Ottensamer, Pekka Kuusisto, Antoine Tamestit, Lawrence Power, Jonathan Cohen and the Quatuor Ébène performing at Salzburg Mozart and Summer Festival, Verbier, Utrecht, BBC Proms, Lucerne, Gstaad, Musikfest Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau and Stavanger.
In 2012 Nicolas has been chosen by Gidon Kremer to become his successor as the new artistic director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival and in 2014, Adam Fischer asked him to follow in his footsteps as Artistic Director of the Haydn Philharmonie, with whom he regularly performs at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Esterházy Festival and will tour both China and Japan in the next season.
Nicolas premieres new music and performs with composers like Thomas Ades, Jörg Widmann, Thomas Larcher, Matthias Pintscher, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and Fazil Say. He has commissioned the pianist/composer Hauschka as part of this season as Artistic Director of "Viva Cello" Festival in Liestal in 2016 inspired by a film script by Federico Fellini as well composers Sebastian Fagerlund, Thomas Larcher, Bryce Dessner and Helena Winkelman for new cello concertos.
Nicolas' recent recording of CPE Bach Concertos on Hyperion with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen received the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award 2017. This year, he released a Recital CD with Fazil Say on Warner. Previous recordings of cello concerti by Haydn, Schumann, Ligeti, Shostakovich and Weinberg have been acclaimed worldwide.
Nicolas Altstaedt was a BBC New Generation Artist 2010-2012 and a recipient of the "Borletti Buitoni Trust Fellowship" in 2009. He plays a Giulio Cesare Gigli cello, Rome around 1760.
Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor (Version for cello and string orchestra) – Nicolas Altstaedt, Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra (HD 1080p)
Johannes Brahms: Double Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor – Vilde Frang, Nicolas Altstaedt, Chaarts Chamber Artists (4K Ultra High Definition)
Camille Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor – Nicolas Altstaedt, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Matthias Foremny (HD 1080p)
Ernest Bloch: Schelomo, Rhapsodie Hébraïque for Violoncello and Orchestra – Nicolas Altstaedt, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Lahav Shani (HD 1080p)
Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Bruno Philippe, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Christoph Eschenbach (HD 1080p)
Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Michael Katz, New York Classical Players, Dongmin Kim (4K Ultra High Definition)
Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Andreas Brantelid, Musica Vitae, Malin Broman (HD 1080p)
Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Philippe Herreweghe