Haydn’s Baryton Trios

When I was in DC this past September for InsideCatholic’s 14th Annual Partnership dinner, Deal introduced me to a truly extraordinary collection of music: Haydn’s Baryton Trios. (The baryton, a large viol-like bowed instrument, seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years — a fact attributed by some to the “immense difficult” required in playing it successfully.)

The 170+ baryton works composed for the instrument by Haydn were written for his patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, who was particular fond of playing it. Of these 170+, one-hundred and twenty-six were written for the combination of viola, cello and baryton, spaning a creative period of nearly ten years (1766-1775.)

With the help of NaxosMusicLibrary and a wonderful YouTube playlist from the Esterhazy Ensemble that I was fortunate enough to stumble across, I’ve been listening to them almost non-stop for the last several months. They’re fantastic.

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If anyone’s looking for a rewarding set of musical pieces with which to become more thoroughly acquainted for their New Year’s resolutions — I can’t be the only person that thinks cultivating musical appreciation is a legitimate resolution, can I? Wait. Don’t answer that. — here they are.



  • Joseph Susanka

    Joseph Susanka has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since his graduation from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. Currently residing in Lander, Wyoming — “where Stetsons meet Birkenstocks” — he is a columnist for Crisis Magazine and the Patheos Catholic portal.

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