Accompanied by the New York Classical Players under the baton of the South Korean conductor Dongmin Kim, the Israeli cellist Michael Katz performs Joseph Haydn's Cello Concerto No.1 in C major. The concert was recorded at Church of the Heavenly Rest, New York City, on February 19, 2017.
Composed between 1761 and 1765 for Joseph Weigl, a gifted cellist in Haydn's Esterházy orchestra, this concerto was presumed lost until 1961, when it turned up the National Museum in Prague among documents originally from Radenin Castle. High virtuosity is demanded of the cellist, as in the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Symphonies (in which Haydn provided solos especially for Weigl). What Haydn did not provide are authenticated cadenzas for the first and second movements; cellists generally employ either anonymous eighteenth century cadenzas, or those prepared since 1961.
The first movement, marked Moderato, begins with a confident, courtly theme with dotted rhythms; in contrast, the second subject is softer and more sinuous, establishing a more lyrical mood. The mildly syncopated orchestral exposition ends with Lombardic rhythms at the conclusion of the orchestral introduction. When the cello enters and takes command of the themes, it launches the first theme with a resonant C major chord, eventually presenting each melody in an increasingly ornate manner. The development engages the cellist in intense passagework derived from the primary theme, while reappearances of the second subject allow the soloist to sing more expansively. Haydn works through the theme groups in sequence twice before reaching the cadenza and a brief coda derived from the movement's opening measures.
The Adagio dispenses with the orchestra's oboes and horns, leaving the soloist to emerge from the sound of the string orchestra with a long, powerfully expressive note. The noble, somewhat melancholic, first theme requires an especially strong tone from the cello, while its answering subject calls for double stops. The movement's shadowy middle section derives from a theme almost as austere as one from a Baroque church sonata, yet encourages the cellist to play with a warm, expressive tone. The third section is an abbreviated repetition of the first one.
Last comes an Allegro molto finale which pretty much follows the ritornello form found in many Vivaldi concertos. The orchestra establishes a fleet theme that recurs, as in a rondo, throughout the rest of the movement. As in the slow movement, almost every time the cello enters, it emerges from the orchestra with a single, long note; this time, however, the long note metamorphoses into a rapidly ascending C major scale. However, while expected to execute intricate high-register passagework which includes rapid scales, the cellist also has an opportunity to interpret melodic phrases of exceptional lyricism.
Source: James Reel (allmusic.com)
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
♪ Cello Concerto No.1 in C major, Hob.VIIb/1 (1761-1765)
i. Moderato [00:08]*
ii. Adagio [09:48]
iii. Allegro molto [18:21]
Michael Katz, cello
New York Classical Players
Conductor: Dongmin Kim
Church of the Heavenly Rest, New York City, February 19, 2017
(4K Ultra High Definition)
* Start time of each part
Hailed by the press for his "bold, rich sound" (Strad Magazine) and "nuanced musicianship", (The New York Times), Israeli cellist Michael Katz has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in venues such as Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Tokyo's Oji Hall, and Jerusalem's Henry Crown Auditorium. His musicianship has been recognized with many awards, among them all three prizes at the 2011 Aviv Competition, and first prizes at the Juilliard School's 2010 Concerto Competition and the 2005 Turjeman Competition.
As the cellist of the Lysander Piano Trio, Michael Katz was a winner of the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Competition, and was awarded first prize in the 2011 Coleman competition and 2011 J.C. Arriaga Competition. He has performed with Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Laurence Lesser, Anthony Marwood, Donald Weilerstein, Peter Frankl, David Finckel, Roger Tapping, Charles Neidich, and others. Mr. Katz's festival appearances include performances at Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Yellow Barn, Sarasota, and the Holland Music Sessions.
Born in Tel-Aviv, Michael Katz began his cello studies at age seven, and his early teachers included Zvi Plesser, Hillel Zori and the late Mikhail Khomitzer. Michael Katz received his Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory as a student of Laurence Lesser and his Master of Music from the Juilliard School where he studied with Joel Krosnick. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music at SUNY Stony Brook as a student of Colin Carr. Additionally, Michael Katz is currently a Fellow in Ensemble ACJW, a program of Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School which trains the next generation of performers to be artists and teachers that hold a deep commitment to the communities in which they live and work.
Conductor Dongmin Kim is the founder and Music Director of the New York Classical Players (NYCP). He is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting and versatile conductors of his generation. He is holding the Music Director position of the New York Classical Players; a New York-based professional chamber orchestra of today's most gifted young instrumentalists.
Since NYCP's founding in 2010, Mr. Kim had led the ensemble in nearly 80 concerts in the greater New York City metropolitan area. NYCP's guest artists have included such renowned musicians as Cho-Liang Lin, Chee-Yun, Mark Kosower, Alex Kerr, Stefan Jackiw, Kim Kashkashian, Charles Neidich, Peter Wiley and Richard O'Neill. In 2014, Mr. Kim led NYCP in its first national tour, appearing with esteemed soprano Sumi Jo to audiences across the country.
Guest artists for the 2016-2017 season include Clara-Jumi Kang, Brandon Ridenour, Jasmine Choi and Ricardo Rivera, and soloists drawn from within the ensemble; Michael Katz, Alice Yoo, Madeline Fayette, and Bomsori Kim. This season also demonstrates Mr. Kim's commitement to contemporary works, with NYCP premiering works including Jennifer Hidden, Dobrinka Tabakova, Teddy Niedermaier, and Texu Kim.
Highlights of Mr. Kim's career include appearances as guest conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center as well as a series of sold-out performances of The Magic Flute with the Seoul Arts Center Festival Orchestra. He been on the podium with the orchestras of Florida, Minnesota and Philadelphia, the Baltimore, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Memphis, San Antonio, Virginia and Winnipeg symphonies, as well as the Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM, the Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic and the Ensemble Zandonai.
Mr. Kim was awarded the distinguished Herbert von Karajan Fellowship, which resulted in a residency with the Wien Philharmonic Orchestra at the Salzburg Music Festival. For the 2005-2006 season, he was the Schmidt Conducting Fellow at the Indianapolis Symphony. In this capacity, he worked with renowned conductors and performing artists Andrew Litton, Raymond Leppard, Mario Venzago, Christoph Poppen, Lynn Harrell, André Watts, Garrick Ohlsson, and Lang Lang.
A keen advocate of contemporary music, Mr. Kim has premiered over 50 compositions. He has led various contemporary ensembles in performances, readings and recording of new compositions, a highlight of which was the first performance of P.Q. Phan's opera, Lorenzo de Medici in 2007. Mr. Kim has also collaborated with leading composers such as George Crumb, Harrison Birtwistle, David Dzubay, Don Freund, Edward Smaldone, Wei-Chieh Lin and Clint Needham.
Mr. Kim is also a noted violist, having held principal positions at the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra under baton of Michael Tilson-Thomas, Seoul's Yonsei Symphony Orchestra and the Indiana University Symphony Orchestra. He was the first violist to win First Prize in the Yonsei Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, which resulted in a solo appearance with the orchestra. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Kim has performed throughout the United States as well as in Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He studied the viola with Alan de Veritch, Paul Neubauer, James Dunham, Yozhak Schotten, YongYoon Kim and SeungYong Choi, and his chamber music mentors include members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Cleveland, Juilliard, Mendelssohn, Orion, and Tokyo String Quartets, and Janos Starker. Mr. Kim's conducting mentors include Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Christoph Eschenbach, Leonard Slatkin, Sergiu Comissiona, and Gustav Meier.
A native of Seoul, Korea, Mr. Kim studied Orchestral Conducting under David Effron, Thomas Baldner and Imre Pallo at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (IU), where he taught the graduate conducting courses and served as music director of the IU All-Campus Orchestra. He also served as the assistant conductor of the IU Opera Theater and the IU New Music Ensemble. Prior to his studies in the United States, Mr. Kim graduated from Yonsei University, where he was awarded the Music Merit Scholarship. Mr. Kim currently resides in New York with his wife, Sally S. Yang.
The New York Classical Players (NYCP) is the region's only professional orchestra sharing exclusively free performances. Comprised of creative and virtuosic young musicians, NYCP's adventurous programming shares familiar masterpieces, bold new commissions, and unexpected musical treasures. Each season, thousands of NYCP concertgoers experience both the dynamic power of the orchestral repertoire and the versatile intimacy of chamber performance. NYCP is proud to collaborate with some of the world's most renowned musicians, including Kim Kashkashian, Cho-Liang Lin, Stefan Jackiw, Sumi Jo, Alex Kerr, Donald Weilerstein, and Chee-Yun, and is under the baton of Music Director and Founder Dongmin Kim.
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