When I was in DC this past September for InsideCatholic’s 14th Annual Partnership dinner, Deal introduced me to a truly extraordinary collection of music: Haydn’s Baryton Trios. (The baryton, a large viol-like bowed instrument, seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years — a fact attributed by some to the “immense difficult” required in playing it successfully.)
The 170+ baryton works composed for the instrument by Haydn were written for his patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, who was particular fond of playing it. Of these 170+, one-hundred and twenty-six were written for the combination of viola, cello and baryton, spaning a creative period of nearly ten years (1766-1775.)
With the help of NaxosMusicLibrary and a wonderful YouTube playlist from the Esterhazy Ensemble that I was fortunate enough to stumble across, I’ve been listening to them almost non-stop for the last several months. They’re fantastic.
If anyone’s looking for a rewarding set of musical pieces with which to become more thoroughly acquainted for their New Year’s resolutions — I can’t be the only person that thinks cultivating musical appreciation is a legitimate resolution, can I? Wait. Don’t answer that. — here they are.