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Timeline of cello concertos written by composers born before 1780 [All have been recorded unless otherwise indicated in italics] Jacchini (1667-1727) Ten "concerti per camera [...] con violoncello obligato" Nine unrecorded Caldara (c.1670-1736) Cello concerto in D minor Vivaldi (1678-1741) Twenty-seven cello concertos and a concerto for two cellos Porpora (1686-1768) Cello concerto in G major Perroni (1688-1748) Cello concerto in D minor (1712) Boismortier (1689-1755) Cello concerto Op.26 No.6 Vandini (1690-1778) Cello concerto in D Berteau (1691-1771) Four cello concertos All unrecorded Tartini (1692-1770) Two cello concertos Giuseppe Sammartini (1693-1751) Cello concerto in C Reichenauer (c.1694-1730) Two cello concertos One unrecorded Leo (1694-1744) Six cello concertos (c.1737-8) Molter (1696-1765) Cello concerto in C (1730s) Zani (1696-1757) 12 cello concertos Majo (1697-1771) Cello concerto in F (1726) Platti (1697-1763) Three cello concertos Hasse (1699-1783) Cello concerto in D Fiorenza (c.1700/1710-1764) Five cello concertos Sabatino (1705-1796) Cello concerto in G Graziani (1710-1787) Two cello concertos Gretsch (1710-1778) Five cello concertos All unrecorded Holzbauer (1711-1783) Cello concerto in A unrecorded Zach (1713-1773) Cello concerto in E flat Avondano (1714-1782) Cello concerto in G C.P.E.Bach (1714-1788) Three cello concertos (1750-3) Wagenseil (1715-1777) Two cello concertos Monn (1717-1750) Cello concerto in G minor (1746, ed. Schoenberg 1913) Zellbell the younger (1719-1780) Cello concerto (1741) Garth (1721-1810) Six cello concertos (pub.1760) Abel (1723-1787) Two cello concertos C.E.Graf (1723-1804) Two cello concertos, one from 1777 Cirri (1724-1808) Six cello concertos Anfossi (1727-1797) Cello concerto in G unrecorded F.H.Graf (1727-1795) Cello concerto in D (c.1780) Hertel (1727-1789) Two cello concertos (1755-9) I.Danzi (c.1730-1798) Cello concerto in G unrecorded Lanzetti (died c.1800) Five cello concertos, four unrecorded Cupis de Renoussard (1732-1808) Cello concerto in D (two lost) J.Haydn (1732-1809) Cello concertos: No.1 in C (1760s) No.2 in D (1783) No.3 (lost) No.4 (disputed) Fils aka Filtz (1733-1760) Two cello concertos Both unrecorded Paxton (1734-1787) Cello concerto in G Mysliveček (1737-1781) Cello concerto in C M.Haydn (1737-1806) Cello concerto in B flat (c.1800) L.Hofmann (1738-1793) At least seven cello concertos Three unrecorded Dittersdorf (1739-1799) Cello concerto in D Vanhal (1739-1813) Three cello concertos (1785-7) J-P.Duport (1741-1818) Cello concerto in E minor unrecorded Janson (1742-1803) Cello concerto in D (recorded); Twelve cello concertos Op.6 (1780) and Op.15 (1799) probably all unrecorded Boccherini (1743-1805) Twelve cello concertos Silva (1745-1803) Cello concerto in D unrecorded Stamitz (1745-1801) Five cello concertos One unrecorded Fiala (1748-1816) Two cello concertos J-L.Duport (1749-1819) Six cello concertos One unrecorded A.Kraft (1749-1820) Cello concerto in C (c.1792) Kriegk (1750-1814) Three cello concertos All unrecorded Tricklir (1750-1813) Thirteen cello concertos Nine unrecorded J.Reicha (1752-1795) At least eight cello concertos Four unrecorded Bréval (1753-1823) Six (perhaps seven) cello concertos All unrecorded Viotti (1755-1824) Cello concerto in C Wranitzky (1756-1808) Cello concerto in C Pleyel (1757-1831) Six cello concertos (one lost) Facius (1760-1806) Three cello concertos All unrecorded Vranický (1761-1820) Cello concerto in D minor F.Danzi (1763-1826) Three cello concertos Two unrecorded Ryba (1765-1815) Cello concerto in C Romberg (1767-1841) Ten cello concertos (1795-c.1824) Seven unrecorded A.Reicha (1770-1836) Cello concerto (1803-1823) unrecorded Witt (1770-1836) Cello concerto in C unrecorded J.Arnold (1773-1806) Five cello concertos All unrecorded Hus-Desforges (1773-1838) Four cello concertos (No.4 c.1820) All unrecorded Baudiot (1773-1849) Two cello concertos (1790 and 1791) Both unrecorded Lindley (1776-1855) Four cello concertos All unrecorded Platel (1777-1835) Five cello concertos All unrecorded N.Kraft (1778-1853) Six cello concertos Three unrecorded Aimon (1779-1866) Cello concerto Unrecorded Hoeke (dates unknown) Two cello concertos, one dating from 1799 Both unrecorded
This timeline shows that there were 76 composers of 275 cello concertos (excluding those that are uncertain) born before 1780, of which 145 (53%) have been recorded and 130 are still unrecorded. Broadly it should include all cello concertos written before the end of the 18th century and the vast majority are likely to have been written within that century. It is striking that, of the 37 composers listed here as known to have been born prior to Joseph Haydn (i.e. 1732), only 7 wrote one or more concertos that remain unrecorded whereas 22 of the 35 listed here as born after him wrote one or more unrecorded concertos. Thus it seems clear that the genre has been well served by the recording industry for concertos written in the early part of the 18th century but less so for those written later in that century.
Only those concertos written by Vivaldi, C.P.E.Bach, Joseph Haydn and Boccherini (and his 9th concerto in particular) have been recorded frequently. Aside from those composers, the series of six concertos each written by Leo and Garth are well worth hearing, as is Monn’s original concerto in G minor. Of the later composers, I find Vanhal’s three and Pleyel’s five concertos to be among the most interesting. In terms of unrecorded music, the composer whose cello concertos I would most like to be able to hear is Bréval.
C.P.E.Bach The Naxos disc of all three concertos played by Tim Hugh is my personal choice from a crowded field.
Boccherini The Naxos series by Tim Hugh and Raphael Wallfisch with the latter’s disc of the last four concertos (including the famous 9th) is an obvious place to start.
Garth The only complete set of the six concertos available is the one by Richard Tunnicliffe on Divine Art and it is excellent.
Joseph Haydn The recent live performances of both concertos by Natalie Clein would be a good choice if you can’t decide between Rostropovich and du Pré (and many, many other fine cellists).
Leo All six concertos are in another bargain box from Brilliant Classics with Julius Berger as soloist - he found the manuscripts in a library in Naples.
Monn His G minor concerto played by Adriano Maria Fazio on period instruments for Brilliant Classics stands out. Jacqueline du Pré’s performance on modern instruments sounds like a different piece!
Pleyel The set of all five by Péter Szabó for Hungaraton is highly recommendable.
Vanhal Not much choice here but Péter Szabó’s Hungaraton disc of his three concertos is fine.
Vivaldi The complete set of 27 concertos made by Francesco Galligioni for Brilliant Classics on period instruments is magnificent and at bargain price too.