Antonio Rosetti: Horn Concertos

Antonio Rosetti: Horn Concertos

by Sarah Willis


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During his lifetime, Bohemian composer Antonio Rosetti (1750-1792) was ranked among the most popular composers, but his works fell into obscurity in the nineteenth century. He is known today primarily for his concerti for wind instruments, which players hungry for a broadened repertoire have eagerly revived. Rosetti wrote his 23 concerti for one or two horns not many decades after the convention of stopping the horn (by inserting the right hand into the bell to produce pitches not found in the natural overtone series) had become common practice. Klaus Wallendorf and Sarah Willis play modern valve horns, which seems likes a very wise decision, given the technical demands of the concerti, with their outrageously rapid passagework and florid ornamentation. It frankly boggles the brain to think that these works, particularly the "F major Concerto for Two Horns," could have been played on natural horns with any kind of finesse. Period practice enthusiasts may yearn to hear these works played on eighteenth century style instruments, but general listeners and fans of the Classical era aren't likely to feel the lack. Wallendorf and Willis play with light, bright tone that's entirely appropriate for this repertoire. The element that isn't present in abundance in their performance is a sense of fun, but it's a rare performer who can make music that requires almost unplayable virtuosity sound effortless. Johannes Moesus, leading Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchetser, does manage to bring a tone of playfulness to the accompaniment, with delicious little nudges in tempo and articulation that indicate that this is indeed music intended to delight and amuse. The sound is basically good, but a little on the bright and shallow side.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/28/2009
Label: Cpo Records
UPC: 0761203728824
catalogNumber: 777288-2
Rank: 117359


  1. Concerto for 2 horns & orchestra in F major, C61/K 3:49
  2. Horn Concerto in E major, C50/K 3:44
  3. Horn Concerto in E flat major, C48/K 3:37
  4. Concerto for 2 horns & orchestra in E flat major, C55/K 3:54: Andante

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