Recalling the Fun of Games We Played

Called by the woods. © Charles Thibo

I love being in the woods, I always did. As I child would be found most of the time either in the wood behind our house, spring, summer, autumn or winter. While I am writing this I am aware that the wood north-west of our house has been calling me for days. “Come over to us”, it says in a gentle voice, “it is cool here. Get out out of that dreadful heat.” And it’s true, the thermometre indicates 36° C today, in the woods it would be a little fresher. “Here, the blackberries are ripe, didn’t you want to make jam? And the elderberries too!”, another voice is trying to seduce me.

And then there is Antonio Rosetti luring me too, reminding me of the fun we had as children in the woods. In 1786 he published the score of a wonderful Symphony in D Major “La Chasse” (The Hunt), Murray A20/Kaul 1:18. Though I have little sympathy for hunters, the first movement is evoking the games we played like hide and seek, roaming through the copsewoods, discovering all kind of mysteries, hunting for treasures etc. It was such a good time we had. And Rosetti’s symphony on a recording by the Concerto Köln wakes up these souvenirs. The second movement is a beautiful romance and as such it has been labeled by Rosetti, while the third movement is closer to the first movement, agitated, dynamic: menuetto maiestoso. The finale starts and concludes on a solemn note, with a dynamic, joyful part for the brass in the middle.

In an earlier post about Rosetti, who was actually born in Bohemia as Anton Rössler, I have covered already the milestones of his career as a composer. He wrote this symphony while serving a German nobleman, Kraft Ernst, Prince of Oettingen-Wallerstein. It is written in four movements and scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets in A, two bassoons, two horns in D, two trumpets in D, timpani, strings (incl. two violas).  It recalls very much the entertaining symphonies that Joseph Haydn had written, which hardly comes as a surprise as imitating haydn had become a European fashion. “Critics praised [Rosetti’s] gift for lyrical melody and his imaginative orchestration”, writes Dieter Steppuhn of the International Rosetti Society.

© Charles Thibo

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de Chareli

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