Boccherini — Overture in D major Op. 43
CPE Bach — Concerto for Cello in A major
Haydn — ‘Adagio cantabile’ from Symphony No. 13
Haydn — Symphony No. 14
Haydn — Cello Concerto No. 1
Nicolas Altstaedt — director & cello
Few soloists make the cello’s uniquely human voice sing with more baritonal warmth than Nicolas Altstaedt, whose passionate performances bring out all the colours of his period instrument.
Continuing this season’s theme of rediscovered works, Altstaedt here performs one of Haydn’s masterpieces, the Cello Concerto in C major – a work lost for nearly 200 years, before resurfacing in the 1960s. Stretching the form of the baroque concerto to its limits, this generous, joyous work, with its bravura finale, marries 18th-century elegance with the adventurous, questioning spirit of the 19th century.
The same spirit of adventure and experimentation runs right through a programme directed from the cello by Altstaedt himself, reaching its peak in CPE Bach’s A major concerto, whose heroic soloist must do battle in music that reflects the highly individual, prescient voice of its composer. Erratic energy gives way to sustained lyricism in the lovely central movement – which rivals Haydn’s ‘Adagio cantabile’ for songlike beauty.