Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Other (not Sigmund) Romberg

The German cellist and composer Bernhard Romberg (1767-1841) was an almost exact contemporary of Beethoven, whose works for the cello are still widely used as teaching pieces.  We have him to thank, unfortunately, for there being no Beethoven cello concerto - Beethoven offered to write one for him, but Romberg turned him down, saying that he preferred to play his own works.  Among these are ten cello concertos, eleven string quartets and three symphonies, plus this Toy Symphony that enjoyed a certain popularity in the 1800s.  It's a delightful piece in four movements with an especially enjoyable Rondo finale, and a score is downloadable from the Petrucci Music Library here.

Bernhard Romberg: Toy Symphony (Symphonie burlesque, Op. 62)
New Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr. Malcolm Sargent
Recorded Sept. 16, 1929
HMV C 1776, one 78-rpm record
Link (FLAC file, 21.33 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 8.7 MB)

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