Preview: Stamitz Cello Concerto.

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Starring: Carel Henn

The South African cellist Carel Henn has been the conductor of the the Rand Symphony Orchestra for the past 10 years.

As cellist, he often worked for Salon Music in concert and for CD and video recordings. In this project Carel makes his debut as conductor for Salon Music and takes on the daunting task of leading the chamber orchestra from behind his cello. The all South African chamber orchestra comprises 12 string players, 2 flutes and 2 horns.

Available from Friday 27 May

Carel Henn (soloist & conductor)
Chamber Orchestra


Variations on a Theme from ‘Moses in Egypt’ for Cello -
Rossini / Paganini
Cello Concerto in G major - Carl Stamitz

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Carl Stamitz elder of Johann Stamitz’s two musically eminent sons, wrote not only many symphonies and chamber music works, but also 6 cello concertos, three of which were dedicated to the music loving and cello-playing Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II.

This king, the nephew of King Frederick the Great, was honored by a number of masterpieces dedicated to him by such composers as Mozart and Beethoven, as well as the Prussian court composer Luigi Boccherini. The three concertos written for King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, like all of Carl Stamitz’s other works, are unmistakable products of the ‘Mannheim School’. They are notable for their melodiousness and youthful vigor and are a welcome addition to the cello repertoire.

The Variations on a Theme from Rossini’s Moses is one of Niccolo Paganini's most famous and often performed virtuoso display compositions. Being the ultimate showman and almost circus performer, Paganini prided himself in compositions completely beyond the capabilities of the other violinists of his day. He would often play final pieces in his programs on a single string.

One of his most famous concert pyrotechnics was to break the three upper strings in the concert and finish the concert with one piece performed on the G string of the violin. The Moses Fantasia, composed as a theme and variations from Rossini’s Moses in Egypt, is the best-known example of such a piece.

In a curious historical note, no manuscript exists, as Paganini did not want any other virtuoso to steal this work. It was published posthumously and immediately became a sensation in the 19th century.This piece is often performed by cellists an octave lower.