Massonneau: 3 Duos Concertante Op.9

Massonneau: 3 Duos Concertante Op.9
Composer Louis Massonneau
Artist Dylan Baraldi cello
Demian Baraldi violin
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 96758
EAN code 5028421967585
Release May 2024

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About this release

Attractive Classical-era duets for violin and cello in world-premiere recordings by a young Italian pair of brothers.
Despite his French name, Louis Massonneau was a German composer, born in Kassel in 1766 and dying at the venerable age of 82 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 1848. His father was chef to the Landgrave Friedrich II of Hessen-Kassel, and Louis received his musical training at the hands of the court musicians in Kassel, soon becoming a violinist in the court orchestra. The Landgrave died when Massonneau was 19, and the orchestra disbanded, requiring him to seek his fortune elsewhere. This he did in a series of posts, as a concertmaster of court and theatre orchestras in Göttingen, Frankfurt, Altona, Dessau, Hamburg and finally Mecklenburg, where he settled for good and retired in 1837.

Composing all the while, Massonneau left behind a fairly substantial catalogue. Almost completely unknown apart from a trio of oboe quartets, it includes three symphonies, twelve symphonies and six violin concertos, doubtless written with his own talents in mind. These three Duos Concertante probably date from Massonneau’s time in Altona, when he came to know the cellist Martin Calmus. Required to perform duets for the entertainment of those attending ‘Musical Academies’, Massonneau doubtless found a dearth of such repertoire, and wrote it afresh. Calmus himself must have been an accomplished cellist, because both parts demonstrate a virtuosity and experimental spirit shared with the better-known music of their contemporary Boccherini. Each duo is cast in three movements, skilfully varied in form from the others, in which lyrical expression is tempered by a touch of irony. Haydnesque touches of major-minor ambiguity lend dramatic tension to the first duo, while a more balletic spirit and Mozartian melodic charm brings a quasi-operatic character to the second. No.3 is the most innovative in its rapid conversational interplay between violin and cello and unconventional range of timbre. Demian and Dylan Baraldi have made this recording with the cooperation of the Edition Massonneau, and authoritative booklet notes from the Edition illuminate the composer’s life and work.

- Louis Massonneau (1766-1848) was a German violinist and composer, born in Kassel, the son of a French court cook employed by Landgrave Frederic II. As a celebrated violinist he held posts as concert master in various court orchestras, such a Göttingen, Frankfurt, Dessau, Hamburg and finally Ludwigslust. He wrote symphonies, operas and chamber music, works firmly rooted in the Viennese Classical tradition; however, early Romantic influences can certainly be detected.
- Although violin and cello are among the solo instruments most frequently heard in Concert Halls, they rarely come together as a duo. The 3 Duos Concertante by Massonneau are substantial works, requiring virtuoso skills from the performers, abounding in rich expressiveness and lyricism.
- Played by the brothers Demian and Dylan Baraldi. Winners of numerous awards and recognitions, they have been playing together since they were children. United in their musical research, they strive to find neglected repertoire for their instruments. They recently debuted together at the Ravenna festival and have numerous concerts on international stages (Austria, Germany, China, Norway, USA, …).


Track list

Disk 1

  1. Louis Massonneau: Duet No. 1, Op. 9: I. Allegro vivace
  2. Louis Massonneau: Duet No. 1, Op. 9: II. Andante con espressione
  3. Louis Massonneau: Duet No. 1, Op. 9: III. Rondo allegro vivace
  4. Louis Massonneau: Duet No. 2, Op. 9: I. Allegro moderato
  5. Louis Massonneau: Duet No. 2, Op. 9: II. Adagio sostenuto
  6. Louis Massonneau: Duet No. 2, Op. 9: III. Andante con variazioni
  7. Louis Massonneau: Duet No. 3, Op. 9: I. Allegro moderato
  8. Louis Massonneau: Duet No. 3, Op. 9: II. Andante con variazioni
  9. Louis Massonneau: Duet No. 3, Op. 9: III. Allegretto