One receives one’s money’s worth for certain with this disc – both in performance time and in quality of the performances and their surround sound recording. But there is also a mystery. Something seems to have gotten lost in the translation of the original album concept from the Russian. There’s the odd album title, engravings of a sea monster on the front and inside of the note booklet, and even on the beautifully-decorated printed side of the disc. Yes, Rosetti, who lived until 1792, was in fact Bohemian-born, but what is the point of the sea monster and the Mutineer bit?
Rosetti was another composer who enjoyed the highest rank in Europe during his lifetime but is almost forgotten today. He traveled Europe a great deal and was regarded as on a par with Mozart and Haydn. Germany was his main base, and though he had a rather short life at least 400 different works by him now exist, including 40 symphonies and 60 concertos for various instruments, of which we hear two on this disc. Three of the works are world premiere recordings.
I found the Horn Concerto the most interesting on the disc, although all four works are distinguished by unexpected turns of musical structure and a style of musical humor that even surpasses that of Haydn. It is in the same key and structured the same as the Violin Concerto written about the same time. Interest is generated by frequent transitions between major and minor, and the concerto’s rondo finale movement mixes hunting horn calls into the solo part.
– John Sunier