Josef Barta, Jan Jiří Benda, Franz Benda, Christian Cannabich, Leopold Kozeluh, Josef Myslivecek, Antonin Rejcha, Frantisek Xavier Richter, Jan Vaclav Stamic, Karel Stamic, Jan Krtitel Vanhal, Antonín Vranický, Pavel Vranický… Those are the names of some of the Czech composers and instrumentalists whose careers and works are largely forgotten.

Temporary stunted by the Hapsburgs’ dominance of Bohemia and Moravia that began shortly after the end of the Thirty Years War, the work of Czech musicians who had been turned into servant-musicians by the Austrian occupiers fell into obscurity. Many of them sought greener pastures in Italy, Paris, Mannheim, and Berlin.

Were it not for the efforts of a team of scholarly producers and engineers associated with Musical Concepts by way of ALTO Distribution, most if not all these names would languish in obscurity.


Ana de la Vega plays the flute in the galante Karel Stamic concerto with the Trondheim Soloists, led by Geir Inge Lotsberg in an elegantly nuanced performance from her and the ensemble – brightly agile in the opening movement of three, cantabile in the middle Adagio, impressively virtuosic in the Mozartian closing movement.

The Sinfonia a Quattro of Jan Vaclav Stamic, and the three sinfonias by Franz Xaver Richter, all four represent some of the music that bridged the often-overwrought Baroque idiom of lesser talents to the Haydenesque simplicity of the style of several composers of the Czech-dominated Mannheim School, exemplified by the inventively orchestrated work of Jan Vaclav Stamic and the melodic richness of Franz Xaver Richter’s style, which the New Dutch Academy led by Simon Murphy plays to perfection.


ALTO is releasing Baroque Bohemia & Beyond IX, an album that features music from a region now part of today’s Czech Republic; it includes Karel Stamic’s Flute Concerto in D Major, a Sinfonia by his son Jan Vaclav Stamic, and three more three-movement works for strings by Franz Xavier Richter.

Licensed from Pentatone, the 2019 recording of the Karel Stamic Flute Concerto was produced, mixed, and edited by Karel Bruggeman and engineered by Erdo Groot. The 2003 recording of the sinfonias by Jan Vaclav Stamic was produced and edited by Carl Schuurbiers, engineered by Erdo Groot, and mastered for high-resolution digital release by Gene Gaudette. The CD edition was mastered by Paul Arden-Taylor. Peter Avis provided the liner notes.

Rafael de Acha © 2023

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