Haydn - Baryton Trios: Treasures from the Esterhaza Palace | Naxos 8574188

Haydn - Baryton Trios: Treasures from the Esterhaza Palace

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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8574188

Barcode: 0747313418879

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 23rd July 2021



Much of Franz Joseph Haydn’s long career was in service as a court musician to the wealthy Esterházy family. It was early in Haydn’s time at the Esterháza palace that Prince Nicolaus took a liking to the hypnotic sound of the baryton – a bowed instrument with an extra set of strings that vibrate sympathetically or are plucked for tonal contrast. The baryton was considered the pinnacle of 18th-century aristocratic instruments, and the outstanding beauty of Haydn’s trios represent its final renaissance, placing this remarkable antique firmly into the poised and tasteful Classical style of the day.

This is the first time that we have represented Haydn’s baryton trios on the Naxos label, and while their specialised instrumentation mean they are something of a niche amongst recordings of this composer these trios are every bit as rewarding as other chamber music from this period.

The baryton is comparable with the bass viol, but with the added timbres of lute-like plucked strings and the resonance of their sympathetic vibration, which has its own uniquely attractive acoustic signature and gives the traditional string trio an entirely new dimension. Led by acclaimed double bass virtuoso and baryton specialist Matthew Baker, the Valencia Baryton Project has dedicated itself to the performance of music of this ancient and little-known instrument. The baryton is played by only a handful of people worldwide, and it can be considered a cross between a viola da gamba and a lirone.

The Valencia Baryton Project was formed by colleagues from the opera of the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Spain and the Orchestre National de Montpellier, France, with the vision of performing the nearly 160 works written by Franz Joseph Haydn in various formations with baryton.

The Valencia Baryton Project comprises musicians from the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía opera house in Valencia and the Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, who came together with the vision of performing the almost 160 works by Joseph Haydn written for the baryton, a cross between a viola da gamba and a lirone. At the heart of the ensemble is the traditional baryton trio – baryton, viola and cello – for which Haydn wrote 123 works of outstanding beauty during his time as court composer for Prince Esterhazy of Austria.

Members of the Valencia Baryton Project have performed in chamber ensembles including Quarteto Radamés Gnattali, the Elan Quintet, Gogmagogs and Trio Vanguardia and with orchestras including the RTVE Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic. The Valencia Baryton Project is the first ensemble to record the baryton for Naxos.

Valencia Baryton Project:
- Matthew Baker (baryton)
- Estevan de Almeida Reis (viola)
- Alex Friedhoff (cello)

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