Stamitz: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Sinfonia Concertante

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Carl Stamitz was a meat and potatoes classicist most closely associated with the Mannheim school, which made instrumental music -- rather than opera -- its main bread and butter. Earlier Mannheimers such as Franz Xaver Richter, who among others taught Carl Stamitz after his father -- the estimable Johann Stamitz -- died in 1757, tended toward the musically stormy and unpredictable. As Carl Stamitz came to maturity, however, the good ship Mannheim was riding on relatively smooth and easy seas, and Stamitz' extensive travels from 1770 exposed him to a continent prepossessed with cool and pristine classicism: elegant melodies, rigorously "right" harmony, and a dash of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Carl Stamitz was a meat and potatoes classicist most closely associated with the Mannheim school, which made instrumental music -- rather than opera -- its main bread and butter. Earlier Mannheimers such as Franz Xaver Richter, who among others taught Carl Stamitz after his father -- the estimable Johann Stamitz -- died in 1757, tended toward the musically stormy and unpredictable. As Carl Stamitz came to maturity, however, the good ship Mannheim was riding on relatively smooth and easy seas, and Stamitz' extensive travels from 1770 exposed him to a continent prepossessed with cool and pristine classicism: elegant melodies, rigorously "right" harmony, and a dash of tasteful sweetness. That's not to say that Stamitz's stylish music is without bones; it's solid. The "G major Cello Concerto" on this Phoenix Edition CD featuring Cappella Coloniensis arrives with a tune that's immediately memorable and as familiar as a pair of well-worn jeans. It has a melodically driven middle movement Romance that tugs at the heartstrings and a foot-tapping Rondo -- Allegro -- based out of folk music styles -- that sends the listener home with a smile. Although the two cello concertos -- two of three known -- and "D major Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola" -- the only survivor for that specific frontline instrumentation, but one of 38 Stamitz products in the sinfonia concertante genre -- were probably written separately and here recorded on three different occasions by the WDR between 1958 and 1975, neither the performances, pieces, or recordings are terribly different from one another. Again, that's not to say they are necessarily boring, either, but this is music that will never bring anyone up out of his/her chair; it's direct, pleasing, and ingratiating. With some listeners, familiarity may breed contempt, but overall, this is a quality product; the performances are strong and professional, the size of the band does not exceed the boundaries of what might be considered appropriate in eighteenth century music, and in terms of recording quality only the "Sinfonia Concertante" -- which dates from 1958 and is in mono, though Phoenix does not admit that here -- seems thin, constricted, and dated. If one is already familiar with the manner in which Carl Stamitz sets his particular table, then one will know what to expect from this disc. However, the same listener might be well versed in Stamitz to realize that these pieces have been recorded before, not frequently, but in some cases well; Isaac Stern even recorded this particular "Sinfonia Concertante." Likewise, the section leaders of Cappella Coloniensis from decades gone by do not have quite the same dedication and drive as Christian Benda on his Naxos recording of the Stamitz cello concertos with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, and that contains the complete cycle of three concerti; food for thought.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/2009
  • Label: Phoenix Edition
  • UPC: 811691011943
  • Catalog Number: 194
  • Sales rank: 151,485

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Cello Concerto No. 1 in G major - Carl Stamitz & Cappella Coloniensis (20:50)
  2. 4–6 Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola & orchestra in D major - Carl Stamitz & Cappella Coloniensis (19:10)
  3. 7–9 Cello Concerto No. 2 in A major - Carl Stamitz & Cappella Coloniensis (22:15)
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