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Timeline of cello concertos written during the 19th century

 
Date Recorded Unrecorded
1800-1810 Schetky 7
1801 Hemmerlein
1802 Neubauer Schönebeck 3
1803 Romberg 4
1803-23 A.Reicha
1808 Romberg 5, Weber J.Bohrer
1809 Auber 1
1810 Platel 1
1811 Ciandelli (two concertos), Hus-Desforges 4
1812 N.Kraft 1, Romberg 6 Wilms 1
1812-1824   Romberg 7-10
1813 N.Kraft 2  
1816   Poissl
1817   Galeazzi
1819 N.Kraft 3 M.Bohrer 1
1820   Körnlein
1821 Wilms 2
1822 M.Bohrer 2
1825 Platel 2-5
1830s Gross Op.38, Rietz  
1830   Ganz 1, Kummer 1
1833   Kummer 2
1834   Gross B minor
1836   Ganz 2
1841   Schuberth 1
1846   Franchomme
1847 Servais 1  
1848 Offenbach  
1850 R.Schumann
1852 Goltermann 1
1853 Molique
1854   F.Grützmacher 1
1855 Volkmann  
1858   F.Grützmacher 2
1859 Davydov 1 F.Grützmacher 3
1860   Lindner, Schuberth 2, Seligmann
1861 Popper 1 Servais 2  
1862   Bockmühl
1863 Davydov 2 Battanchon  
1864 Reinecke, Rubinstein 1  
1865 Dvořák 1  
1866 Sullivan  
1867 Stahlknecht
1868 Davydov 3  
1869   Eckert
1870 Fitzenhagen 1, Svendsen L.Grützmacher 1, Kudelski, Taubert
1871 Fitzenhagen 2  
1872 Saint-Saëns 1  
1874 Raff 1 S.Lange 1, A.Piatti 1, Swert 1
1875 Rubinstein 2 H.Hofmann, Schröder 1
1876 Dietrich, Raff 2  
1877 Lalo, A.Piatti 2, Vieuxtemps 1 Schröder 2, Witte
1878 Davydov 4, Widor Swert 2
1879 E.Hartmann, Vieuxtemps 2 Franco-Mendès 3
1880 Klengel 1, Popper 2, Stanford Herzogenberg (lost)
1881 Arienzo, Robert-Hansen
1882 Herbert 1, Jaëll, Neruda 4 A.Bouman 1, Hetzel
1883 Klengel 2
1884 Neruda 1  
1886   Goens 1, Hollman 2
1887 Neruda 2&3 Servais 3
1888 Neruda 5, Pfitzner 1, Popper 3  
1889 Jurjāns
1890s   Strigl
1890   Sherwood 1, Sitt 1
1891   Sitt 2
1892 Klughardt Rensburg
1893 Foote, Röntgen 1 Loeffler, Pâque (lost)
1894 Herbert 2  
1895 Abbiate, Castro, Dvořák 2, Gretchaninov, Klengel 3 Siklós 1
1896   Becker
1897   Squire
1899 E.Albert Hegner 1, Kauffmann
1900 Jongen, Popper 4 Desjoyeaux, Viotta  

Note: Some composers who were born before 1780 (and whose concertos are therefore included in that timeline) wrote concertos with a known date in the 19th century. Such concertos are also included above. Concertos by composers born after 1780 for which a date could not be found but which must have been written in the 19th century are listed below. Composers who lived into the 20th century with undated concertos are included in this appendix of undated concertos, all of which will have been written after about 1850. That list is ordered by composer and birth date, and some of their concertos towards the top of the list are very likely to have been written in the 19th century.

Undated 19th century concertos:

N.Kraft (1778-1853) dates unknown for cello concertos Nos.4-6 (unrecorded)
Fenzi (1780-1827) dates unknown for at least two cello concertos (unrecorded)
Auber (1782-1871) dates unknown for three (possibly four) concertos (unrecorded)
J.Bohrer (1783-1863) dates unknown for two cello concertos (unrecorded)
Dotzauer (1783-1860) dates unknown for nine cello concertos (unrecorded)
Uber (1783-1824) date unknown for one cello concerto (unrecorded)
Pilotti (1784-1838) date unknown for one cello concerto (unrecorded)
Gross (1809-1848) dates unknown for two concertos (unrecorded)
Chevillard (1811-1877) dates unknown for at least one cello concerto (unrecorded)
Franco-Mendès (1816-1889) dates unknown for concertos Nos.1-2 (unrecorded)
Goltermann (1824-1898) dates unknown for concertos Nos.2-8 (all unrecorded except the third)
Quarenghi (1826-1882) date unknown for one cello concerto (unrecorded)
L.Grützmacher (1835-1900) date unknown for second concerto (unrecorded)
Swert (1843-1891) date unknown for third concerto (unrecorded)
Fitzenhagen (1848-1890) dates unknown for third and fourth concertos (unrecorded)
Maselli (19th century) date unknown for one cello concerto (unrecorded)

A total of 181 cello concertos from the 19th century were identified, 63 (35%) of which have been recorded and 118 appear to be unrecorded. This timeline is remarkable because of the sparsity of the cello concerto in the first half of the century and the almost complete absence of them for most of the 1820s - when Beethoven was writing his late, great works. There are various possible explanations, e.g. perhaps a relative lack of virtuoso cellists but, whatever the reason, it seems that very little from that time has survived into our musical consciousness nearly 200 years later. There may be cello concertos from the period that have survived but there seems to be little evidence of them on the internet.

Until Schumann wrote his famous concerto in 1850, Weber and Offenbach are the only reasonably well-known composers of cello concertos in half a century. The other major concertos of the century and ones that have been frequently recorded are those by Saint-Saëns in 1872, Lalo in 1877 and Dvořák’s B minor in 1895. Two of the great cellists of the period, Davydov and Popper, each wrote four concertos that have all been recorded and are worth exploring. Even more so perhaps are the Klengel concertos, three of the four of which have now been recorded. Also worth mentioning are the concertos by Raff and Herbert, both of whom wrote two, and Gretchaninov’s lone work. All these works date from the latter half of the century; from the early part of the century Gross’s Op.38 and the Rietz concerto, usefully paired on one disc (see below) seem the most interesting.

Recommendations

Dvořák Steven Isserlis is an obvious choice for both concertos and Rostropovich with Giulini is one of the great recordings of the B minor.
 
Foote The only recording of this work by Douglas Moore was on LP and will be hard to find but can be heard on YouTube. It deserves a modern recording.

Gretchaninov The premiere recording of an interesting late romantic four movement concerto played by Alexander Ivashkin.

Herbert Two fine late romantic concertos played by Lynn Harrell.
 
Jaëll A premiere recording by Xavier Phillips of what is probably the first cello concerto by a female composer, and a very lyrical one too.

Klengel The recording of the third by Raphaela Gromes is excellent. Let’s hope that we will soon be able to hear the unrecorded second.

Lalo I was surprised by how many recordings of this work are available. Julian Lloyd-Webber has pride of place in my collection.

Raff Two lyrical concertos very well played by Daniel Müller-Schott.
 
Rietz and Gross From a very fallow period for the cello concerto these works stand out in fine performances from Klaus-Dieter Brandt.

Saint-Saëns All of his music for cello and orchestra on a single bargain priced disc played by Gabriel Schwabe.
 
Schumann For great fervour in the outer movements Casals live at Prades with Ormandy in 1953 is hard to beat. If you prefer a more restrained approach, I would recommend Alban Gerhardt.
 
Vieuxtemps As interesting as his better known violin concertos, both cello concertos played by Wen-Sinn Yang are highly recommendable.
 
 
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