FoM Recordings

Joseph Haydn: Baryton Divertimenti, Volume 1

The Esterházy Machine (Kenneth Slowik, baryton; Steven Dann, viola; Myron Lutzke, violoncello)

FoM 36-811

Forming a little-known but nonetheless fascinating part of Joseph Haydn’s prolific instrumental output are the more than 170 works he composed for baryton, the favorite instrument of Prince Nicolaus Esterházy “the Magnificent” (reigned 1762-1790. Nicolaus, an extravagant patron of the arts, played cello, viola da gamba, and violin, but was particularly captivated by the baryton, which Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang’s father, described as “one of the most charming of instruments. Like the gamba, it has six or seven strings. It has, however, a very wide neck, the back of which is hollow and open and into which nine or ten brass and steel strings are inserted, which may be plucked by the thumb while the principal part is played with the bow on the gut strings.” The booklet accompanying this initial CD from the newest of the SCMS’s resident ensembles contains numerous photos of this rare and unusual instrument.

Listen to the Minuet I from the Trio in D Major, Hob. XI: 97

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As an ensemble, Kenneth Slowik, Steven Dann, and Myron Lutzke give a rhetorically urgent account of these trios. They respond with easy grace to Haydn’s more galant moods, pack his wit with brawn when called for, and render their instruments pliable to the introspective flow of the genuinely touching Adagios. Slowik deserves an especially hearty commendation for his fluid mastery of such a notoriously difficult instrument.
– Early Music America
$16.00 + $2.98 shipping & handling
On this album: 

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

[1]–[3] Trio in A Major, Hob. XI: 35

[4]–[10] Trio in D Major, Hob. XI: 97, Fatto per la felicissima nascita di S.A.S. Prencipe Estorhazi

[11]–[13] Trio in G Major, Hob. XI: 124

[14]–[16] Trio in A Minor, Hob. XI: 87

[17]–[19] Trio in C Major, Hob. XI: 101