215 Cello Concerto No.1
Up 39. 2nd of Haydn's 3 entries. Highest position since 2003.
In the first few years after he arrived at the Esterházy Palace, when he was still in his twenties, Haydn decided he needed to raise the standards of playing in the orchestra. While increasing the number of players in the band — and hence competition to play the best bits of the music — he wrote appetising concertos to ensure that the most essential members didn’t consider walking away. So, in addition to brand new symphonies in which all the musicians played an important part (the Philosopher, the Horn Signal and the Alleluia all date from this period), there were choice concertos for the chosen ones.
One such player was the cellist Joseph Weigl. The Cello Concerto No.1 was his present from Haydn — and one that was subsequently lost for two hundred years. It was not until 1961 that it was rediscovered, having been salvaged from Radenin castle in Prague. So, although it was written in the 1760s, it has become a firm favourite with audiences only in the last fifty years.
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