HAYDN: Cello Concerto in C; Symphony No. 33 in E Flat “The Philosopher;” Cello Concerto in D – Michael Kanka, cello/Prague Chamber Orchestra (without conductor) – Praga Digitals SACD

by | Jun 9, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

HAYDN: Cello Concerto in C; Symphony No. 33 in E Flat “The
Philosopher;” Cello Concerto in D – Michael Kanka, cello/Prague Chamber
Orchestra (without conductor) – Praga Digitals multichannel SACD PRDDSD
250 209, 70:13 ****:

These are the two frequently-performed cello concertos of Haydn and
also the only two of the six extant which musicologists consider
authentically the work of the composer. Both are three-movement works
of about 25 minutes length, the first leaning toward the Baroque in
style and the second more toward the coming Romantic period.  The
stereo option is excellent, but the multichannel displays a very wide
soundstage with great depth behind the cello soloist. The instrument is
clearly placed spatially dead center – and this holds whether the
discrete center channel feed is used or the phantom center selected
with no center speaker operating. However, there is a bit too much of
the solo cello in the L & R front speakers either way – creating
again an instrument larger than life. Evidently the listener is
supposed to be sitting about three feet in front of the soloist just as
grand pianos are recorded with the listener supposedly standing in the
crook of the piano body.  The symphony interspersed between the
two concertos becomes a nice device.  It is heard in its original
version and employs two English horns instead of the normal oboes.

– John Sunier

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