The baryton – Haydn’s 120+ and Tomasini’s 24

October 18, 2009

2009 is the anniversary of Josef Haydn’s death and Tomasini was the dedicatee of Haydn’s violin concertos as well as being a court musician at the Esterhaza court.

Temporarily escaping the pressure of writing a university student essay on Gender in Western European Art Music, I’ve spent a pleasant few hours on the internet today reacquainting myself with the baryton (Jose Vasquez’s Orpheon), its repertoire and performances on YouTube (especially those played as viola/baryton/bass viol trios).  Coincidentally on the other side of the world <alarob> here on WordPress has been doing the same lately!

There are no examples of the instrument on this continent of Australia and no gamba players here have ever joined the International Baryton Society to my knowledge, though some of the trios have been attempted by friends playing tenor viol, bass viol and ‘cello. There seems to be a dirth of sheet music, though I will work on transcriptions for oboe/cor anglais and bassoon. 

I note the following:

* Haydn’s 120+ works for baryton, recorded in toto by the Esterhazy Ensemble (Michael Brussing on baryton) on 21 CDs, available from May 2010 on The recording’s playlist comprises 117 trios for viola/baryton/cello, 3 trios for violin/baryton/cello, 4 reconstructed duos for 2 barytons, 1 quintet for 2 horns/viola/baryton/cello, 7 octets for 2 horns/violin/viola/baryton/cello. Jeremy Brooker is the contact for the International Baryton Society and the Hauschka Ensemble has recorded four duets for 2 barytons, plus 12 cassation pieces for baryton due and basso (cello) by Haydn.

* Luigi Tomasini’s works have in part been recorded by the Esterhazy Ensemble also on CPO 999 9732 (56:18): Korcak numbers 19,20,27,33,34.

* Literature – Gartrell, Carol. A History of the Baryton and its music, July 2009, 304pp. ISBN 0-8108-6917-9. Available from

* Other recordings (search also Amazon): Geringas Baryton Trio. Nos 5, 96, 97, 113. CPO 999094; Haydn, Mozart – Moderntimes Ensemble. Trios 53, 87 and117. Julia Moretti. Presier 2006; Hsu, Arico and Miller. Nos. 87, 97, 111. ASV 1991.


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