Haydn’s violin concertos are early works dating from the 1760s. The First in C was only discovered in 1909 in the archives of the publishers Breitkopf – 100 years after the composer’s death.
The First and Third concertos (the second is lost) were
composed for the Italian violinist Luigi Tomasini, who,
in 1761 was the concertmaster of the court chapel at
Esterhaza. Doubtless his considerable skills influenced the writing for the solo parts as it both concertos are indebted to the Italian school, with Vivaldian sequences, and in the case of the First concerto, a delicious slow movement.
The Fourth Concerto in G is a very different work in style, and it is doubtful that it was written for Tomasini. More likely (and it is by no means certain that the work is actually Haydn’s – it just has enough ‘finger prints’ to be attributed to him) it was composed
for the leader of the Morzin orchestra. It is the most old-fashioned of the three concertos on this CD, but nonetheless contains some lovely moments, especially the slow movement and the restless finale.
New recording from August 2008, made on period instruments
L’Arte Dell’Arco was founded in 1994, and has rapidly built a reputation as one of the world’s leading Barock ensembles. They have worked with Cecilia Bartoli, Pieter Wispelwey and
Christopher Hogwood. They have recorded for CPO, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, and Brilliant Classics