Both of the marvellous cello concertos in this recording, written while Haydn was in the service of Prince Nikolaus Esterházy ‘The Magnificent’, have had checkered careers. In fact, had you asked at any point in the past 200 years how many cello concertos Haydn wrote, the answer would have varied from ‘None’ to ‘Six’. As things stand, these two concertos are the only genuine ones we have. Two others are probably lost; one is almost certainly not by Haydn, although its slow movement would not disgrace him; and one is probably the handiwork of the Czech virtuoso and composer David Popper. The two concertos now acknowledged to be the work of Haydn (and now ‘found’) marked Jian Wang’s debut recording for Deutsche Grammophon and have received much critical acclaim. They are staple repertoire for many a cellist.
Cello Concerto in C major, Hob. VIIb:1
Cello Concerto in D major, Hob. VIIb:2
Jian Wang, cello
Executive Producer: Christopher Alder
Recording Producer and Balance Engineer: Helmut Burk
Recording Location: Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian, Grand Auditorio, Lisbon, Portugal, July 1998
‘Jian Wang, the soloist on this new disc, confirms the promise of his chamber music recordings with playing that is both fiery and eloquent. His tone is rich and alluring, though never over-opulent, his articulation nimble and varied, his phrasing invariably thoughtful. He despatches the devilish bravura writing in the finale of the C major with wit and panache, and brings subtle new shadings and nuances to the recapitulations of the opening movements. If both Adagios are dangerously – and anachronistically – slow and soulful, Wang compels with the intense ruminative inwardness of his playing – listen, for instance, to his rarefied pianissimo at the start of the recapitulation in the C major… Wang’s eloquence and sensitivity certainly demand to be heard…’ BBC Music Magazine