The baryton – Janos Liebner & Hans Pischner

November 15, 2009

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Barytonmusik des 18. Jahrhunderts: Haydn, Fiocco, Tomasini, Burgksteiner. Janos Liebner, baryton; Hans Pischner, harpsichord. CD, Berlin Classics, Eterna ADD 0031472BC. Recorded in 1968 and re-released in 1996.

I got this recording to compare Haydn with other baryton-composing collegues and counterparts. Tomasini was a prominent violinist at the Esterhazy court and wrote for the Prince, possibly playing the violin part in those trios written by Haydn for baryton, violin and ‘cello.

Playlist is as follows:

* Haydn, Cassation/Divertimento for two barytons in A, arr. baryton and harpsichord;

* Joseph-Hector Fiocco, three movts from his Suite No.1 in G for solo harpsichord, 1730, arr. for baryton and harpsichord;

* Tomasini, (baryton trio) Sonata in A in three movts, arr. for baryton and harpsichord;

* Joseph Burgksteiner, three movt (baryton trio ) Divertimento in D; Haydn, Cassation for two barytons in D, arr. for baryton and harpsichord..

I’m grateful to be in a position to put Haydn’s baryton music in some sort of context, thanks to this recording and especially since recordings of Tomasini are so few in number and scores of his chamber music hardly available at all. After a couple of hearings, there’s obvious a distance between Haydn and his contemporaries in terms of Haydn’s superb compositional abilities; the Fiocco sounded like a routine piece of baroque music say for instance cello and harpsichord. The ‘narrow’ sound of just the two instruments makes listening quite challenging; more a recording for study with sheet music than for ‘easy listening’ in its own right. I wasn’t aware before buying it that it was a reissue from such a long time ago in modern Early Music history terms. No Hoboeken numbers are given for the Haydn works – these are baryton duets ‘outside’ the corpus of baryton trios for baryton/viola/’cello.

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