"The Dutch Haydn" Joseph Schmitt - Symphonies and Chamber Music

This world premiere recording of symphonies and chamber music by Joseph Schmitt (also known as "The Dutch Haydn") has successfully put this composer's wonderfully sparkling music back on the map.

Joseph Schmitt is one of the most important figures in Dutch musical heritage. As a composer, conductor, performer, director, theorist, music publisher and pedagogue Joseph Schmitt made a tremendous contribution to the cultural life of the Netherlands in the 18th century. Schmitt was also the founding music director and conductor of the Netherlands' first purpose built concert hall, the "Felix Meritis" in Amsterdam.

Schmitt (Gernsheim 1734 - Amsterdam 1791) was a student of CF Abel (student of JS Bach and mentor of Mozart). Schmitt's compositional style is highly cosmopolitan, with inspiration from the musical languages of the Bach sons and the Mannheimers.

Before coming to the Netherlands, Schmitt lived and worked at Kloster Eberbach (Rheingau, Germany) as a musical priest, composing and directing the Kloster's music. He also composed secular music at the Kloster (including chamber music and his early symphonies) much of which  was published in the 1760's by Dutch music publishers, the Hummel Brothers.  

This disc is the very first recording of Schmitt's Symphonies and Chamber Music.

What the critics say:

Le "Haydn hollandais": un compositeur tout en verve, que sert avec un entrain irrésistible la New Dutch Academy de Simon Murphy. (Le Soir - “Nos coups de coeur”)

Holländischer Haydn – Gleich einer frischen sommerlichen Brise aus Holland kommt diese Neuproduktion mit Werken der Joseph Schmitt daher ... Die unverbraucht spritzig klingende New Dutch Academy legt ein geradezu flammende Pläydoyer für diesen bislang unterschätzen Meister vor. ... Viele Effekt – etwa anrührende Pianissimi, auf die unmittelbar Fortissimo-Passagen, lassen den durchaus eigensinnigen Komponisten erkennen. Diese Bandbreite der musikalischen Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten fulminant darzustellen, ist der New Dutch Academy offensichtlich eine Freude. ... Packend, spieltechnisch brillant – und nicht zuletzt wieder mit einem besonderen Augenmerk auf der Ausgestaltung des Basses – führt die New Dutch Academy durch diesen bislang unbekannten Schaffenskosmos. Sehr zu empfehlen! (Concerto)

Joseph Schmitt Opening Concert Felix Meritis 

Composer/Conductor Joseph Schmitt (centre, with rolled up manuscript paper) pictured at the opening concert of the Felix Meritis, Amsterdam.

Listen to a sample of Schmitt's Symphonies, including movements from his Symphony in E flat "The Hurdy Gurdy", featured on the disc:

Listen to some of Schmitt's Chamber Music:

 

Read more about Schmitt and his music