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Despite having his own highly virtuosic orchestra, Haydn wrote his Trumpet Concerto for an old friend called Anton Weidinger, who was a member of the Imperial Court Orchestra in Vienna.
Weidinger was also something of an inventor and Haydn composed the concerto for a brand new trumpet, which could play more notes than ever before. The particular incarnation of the instrument has since died out, in favour of the valve version that we hear today.
Haydn had an ulterior motive for writing the new work for Weidinger. He had managed to poach him from the orchestra in Vienna, persuading him to join the band of musicians, which Haydn headed, in the employ of the Austro-Hungarian Esterházy family. Weidinger premiered the work on his arrival, changing bits of the music as he did so (either with or without Haydn’s consent, it’s unclear).
Tine Thing Helseth (trumpet); Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. Simax: PSC1292.
Illustration: Mark Millington