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Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major Premiered in 1962

Although believed to be composed between 1761-65, the work was lost in the Prague National Museum archives until discovered in 1961 by musicologist Oldrich Pulkert

Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major premiered on this day in 1962. Haydn composed the concerto between 1761-1765 during his time as an employee for the Esterházy family — later becoming the Kapellmeister in 1766.

Prior to 1961, there was only one Haydn Cello Concerto in existence, his Concerto No. 2 in D Major written in 1783. Haydn left a trace of the first concerto's existence in his compositional catalog; however, the manuscript was missing and lost within the Prague National Museum archives never to be seen again.

In 1961, two centuries later, the Czech musicologist Oldrich Pulkert discovered an eighteenth-century facsimile of the concerto in the Prague National Museum. The concerto was found to resemble the Baroque style although it is known as one of the greatest classical era works and features the soloist as a virtuoso transcending limits.

The first performance — following its discovery — was given by Czech virtuoso Miloš Sádlo with the Czechoslovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Sir Charles Mackerras in 1962. Sádlo later collaborated with Mstislav Rostropovich to create the first transcription for cello and piano published by International Music Co. 



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