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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67179
Recording details: March 2000
The Concert Hall, Örebro, Sweden
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Ken Blair
Release date: October 2000
Total duration: 24 minutes 34 seconds

‘Nwanoku’s playing is both athletic and eloquent in these appealing bass concertos. [She] plays her solo music with due vivacity and skill … as graceful as can be imagined on her instrument. Paul Goodwin’s neat and sympathetic accompaniments, his leisurely pacing and his judicious balance…make this disc even more appealing’ (Gramophone)

'A most enjoyable disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'An ideal coupling, very well recorded' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Chi-chi Nwanoku is a delightful soloist. [Her] light-as-air sound and technical clarity are a continual source of pleasure' (International Record Review)

'An elegant performance. Beautifully played and phrased by Nwanoku, who reveals the lyrical potential of the solo bass' (The Strad)

'A treat' (Amazon.co.uk)

Double Bass Concerto in D major
composer

Allegro moderato  [7'55]
Adagio  [9'48]
Allegro  [6'51]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739–1813) was an extremely prolific composer whose works are still the subject of research. One of the difficulties facing scholars is the location of original manuscripts. Towards the end of his life, Vanhal is said to have given away pages of his music to friends as they left his house! Only quite recently a divertimento was pieced together from manuscript fragments discovered in Prague, Bologna, Vienna and Paris. He was born in Bohemia and began life as an organist and choirmaster, but his ability as a violinist and composer impressed Countess Schaffgotsch, who took him to Vienna in about 1761 where he studied with Dittersdorf. He subsequently became a teacher himself, with Pleyel among his pupils. By 1800 his popularity as a composer had spread as far as America and he had many works in print; although his later works fell victim to his own mental frailty, the best of his symphonies (of which there are over seventy) and his chamber music (probably around a hundred works) deserve more attention than they receive. He left more than seven hundred works when he died, many of which were considered in his day to stand up well to some by Mozart and Haydn. He was one of the first independent artists of his time and throughout his life held no official appointment, living much in the way that a freelance professional musician does today.

from notes by Rodney Slatford © 2000

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