Crowning Glory – Zappa Symphonies

Featuring world première recordings of newly discovered works from The Netherlands' own symphonic tradition at the glittering 18th century court of Orange in The Hague, this disc presents an array of Dutch musical crown jewels by composers active at the court, including symphonies by C.E. Graaf, Schwindl, C. Stamitz and F. Zappa (Cello Symphonies).

The disc is the first ever recording to offer a panoramic view of the symphony at the 18th century Court of Orange in The Hague, and is also the first CD to ever document this aspect of the Netherlands' rich musical heritage. The music presented on the disc was rediscovered by Simon Murphy and the NDA's own Research Lab in a seven year long, international research project leading up to the recording of the CD in June 2009. The disc includes the newly discovered Zappa "Adagio for Cello and Orchestra".

Simon Murphy New Dutch Academy Zappa The Hague Court Symphonies CD Cover

What the critics say:

"The other Zappa ... brilliant performances ... A fascinating view of the rich musical traditions of The Hague ... wonderful orchestral sound of the NDA" Klassieke Zaken

"18th century rock 'n roll ... a total eyeopener" Haagsche Courant

"swinging and persuasive!" Het Parool

"Simon Murphy and the New Dutch Academy clean up big time with the works of Christian Ernst Graaf (individual), Carl Stamitz (electrifying) and W.A. Mozart ... Murphy creates an earthy energy with funky rhythms and fine articulation. The performances of the [Zappa] cello solos by Caroline Kang and the Mozart concert aria by soprano Elizabeth Dobbin are particularly distinguished. Beautifully recorded." De Volkskrant

"When it comes to the subject of Crown Jewels, the Dutch can definitely hold their own with the British. The New Dutch Academy presents a musical exhibition of seven high-carat examples from the Classical epoch, including two totally stunning new masterworks. Under no circumstances should one miss this!" Deutschlandradio Kultur (CD of the Week, November 2009)

"Different Zappa, Different Time, Different Place, Same Excitement" Pop Matters (US)

"A rich anthology CD of first recordings of works from the court of the Prince of Orange, William V, this album of repertoire-refresher, conductor Simon Murphy radiates joie de vivre, bursting immediately open with a lively symphony by Graaf with celebratory trumpets and drums. Schwindl’s animated symphony [in D] is laden with a similarly contagious élan, particularly in the most effervescent string figurations in the Presto finale. Zappa's style displays a lovely melodic charm: the central Largo assai of the Cello Symphony (Caroline Kang, cello) could have easily been a cantilena from an opera, the two outside movements, with their seductively solo-woodwind parts, embracing the Largo as a jewel box would encase its treasures. The Stamitz symphony [in C], is developed, complex and rich with expressive shadings with an enlivening and rejuvenating bouquet. Murphy’s interpretation of these works distinguishes itself by its enthusiasm; his approach possesses a classic élan but without any stiffness or dryness, displaying a delicate sensitivity in the Andantes and Largos." 5 Stars. Diapason (France) 

"This is one of the finest SACD recordings I have heard. ... The recording is gorgeous, giving finely balanced and well-placed performances of these works and also having very well written — and detailed — notes. ... Anyone with an interest in off the beaten track late 18th Century music owes it to himself to obtain this SACD." American Record Guide, June/July 2010

"As one has grown to expect from the New Dutch Academy, one hears inspiring, energising and vibrant interpretations here. An impressive production presenting world premiere recordings of these works. Simon Murphy had already shown that there are still many undiscovered musical treasures to be found in the Netherlands. We look forward to hearing more!"  Toccata – Alte Musik Aktuell (Germany)

"superbly crisp performances ... Australian-born Simon Murphy has unearthed compositions from Den Haag during the cosmopolitan reign of Willem V (1751-1795). The guest list includes a young Mozart, a Mannheim symphonist son, and a number of excellent Dutch, German, and Italian composers. Alongside energetic symphonies of Christian Ernst Graf (1723-1804) and ... Friedrich Schwindl (1737-1786) are ... symphonies of Italian-born cellist Francesco Zappa (fl.1763-1788). Both Largo movements contain lyrical solo passages for the instrument. Carl Stamitz (1745-1801) continues the family’s tradition for audacious symphonic techniques. ... The New Dutch Academy delivers clean, deft performances. Cellist Caroline Kang brings out the warmth of the solo lines, and soprano Elizabeth Dobbin employs a nice touch of mezzo color." Early Music America

"In this world premiere recording, two of the surviving symphonies of Francesco Zappa (fl. 1763-88) are performed by the New Dutch Academy, a new period instrument group that is dedicated to the resurrection of the Dutch 18th-century musical heritage. 

Zappa, functioned at the court in The Hague for over twenty years as a cellist and teacher ... Although little is known about his life, he was able to carve out a substantial reputation both for his playing technique (second in some reviews only to Boccherini) and his pleasant and accessible compositions. The two works recorded on this disc are thoroughly steeped in the Italian style, and in both middle movements the obligato cello is featured ... The music is fluid and bright, the compositions well-written ... There are enough Mannheim devices to demonstrate that Zappa was certainly aware of the music of his more famous colleagues to the south. The NDA ... contrast[s] the two [Zappa] symphonies with works by three of his German colleagues at The Hague, Friedrich Schwindl (1737-86) and Christian Ernst Graaf (1723-1804). Both of these men were violinists and published regularly with Hummel in Amsterdam. ... Good contrasting themes in the former's first movement, as well as nice orchestrational touches ... boisterous hammerstrokes of the latter's D major symphony make for a splendidly brilliant effect. To top things off the disc also includes ... a Stamitz symphony and the Mozart KV 22 written especially for The Hague during a visit in 1765. 

The New Dutch Academy performs these works with precision and enthusiasm [and] a great deal of energy. ... if you want to hear some great Dutch18th-century symphonies, this disc is recommended." Bertil van Boer - Society for Eighteenth (18th-) Century Music SECM, (US) April 2010


New Dutch Academy Zappa CD


A number of sample tracks from the disc appear here for your listening pleasure. Please visit to purchase your copy of the disc.

Recording Details:

World Premiere Recording

Crowning Glory – Zappa Symphonies

The Musical Heritage of the Netherlands

Dutch Crown Jewels: Symphonies from the 18th Century Court of Orange in The Hague

Zappa, Stamitz, Schwindl, Graaf and Mozart

Simon Murphy Conductor, New Dutch Academy Orchestra, Elizabeth Dobbin Soprano, Caroline Kang Violoncello

The New Dutch Academy Orchestra: Violin Stephen Freeman (Concertmaster), Gabrielle Wunsch, Sara de Corso, Barbara Erdner, Aira-Maria Lehtipuu, Miranda Hutton, Erin Chen, Joanna Huszcza, Frouke Mooij, Anu Gehlert Viola Gudrun Hardardottir, Annegret Meder, Ruben Sanderse Violoncello Hanna Loftsdottir, Caroline Kang, Rebecca Rosen Bass Christian Staude, Vega Montero Sanchez de las Matas, Benoît Vanden Bemden Harpsichord Haru Kitamika Flute Georgia Browne, Melody Yeomans Oboe Peter Tabori, Taka Kitazato Bassoon Tomek Wesolowski Horn Bart Aerbeydt, Gilbert Cami Farras Trumpet Mark Geelen, Andreas Bengtsson Tympani Koen Plaetinck

Pitch: A= 430 Hz. Recorded on 15, 16 and 17 June 2009, Grote Kerk, Maassluis, The Netherlands. Producer Carl Schuurbiers Recording Engineer Erdo Groot. Edited and Mastered at the studios of Polyhymnia International, Baarn, The Netherlands


Read more about the music and composers featured on the CD


Complete Track Listing for “Crowning Glory – Zappa Symphonies” (PentaTone Classics PTC 5186 365):

Christian Ernst Graaf (1723 – 1804) Symphony in D Op 14 no 1 (pub. J.J. Hummel Amsterdam/Berlin, 1776)

1 Allegro 3. 07  2 Andante 2. 34  3 Presto 1. 56

Francesco Zappa (fl. 1763 – 1788) Symphony in B flat “The Cello Symphony” (“Concertata Sinfonia à più Stromenti Obbligati”)

4 Allegro 2. 03  5 Largo assai * 6. 21  6 Allegro assai 3. 47

Friedrich Schwindl (1737 – 1786) Symphony in D Op 9 no 3 (pub. B Hummel, Den Haag, c.1765)

7 Allegro 2. 58  8 Andante 3. 29  9 Presto 2. 33

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791) Symphony no 5 in B flat, KV 22 “The Hague” (“Haagsche”)

(composed in Den Haag/The Hague, 1765)

10 Allegro 2. 34  11 Andante 2. 58  12 Allegro molto 1. 20

Francesco Zappa (fl. 1763 – 1788) Symphony in D

13 Allegro assai 2. 07  14 Largo 5. 38  15 Allegro 1. 12

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)

16 Aria “Conservati Fedele” for Soprano and Orchestra, KV 23 7. 04 (composed in The Hague, 1766)

Carl Stamitz (1746 – 1801) Symphony in C Op 24 no 1 (pub. B Hummel, Den Haag c. 1785)

17 Allegro con spirito 5. 12  18 Andante molto 6. 21  19 Poco presto 3. 45

*Also known as the Zappa “Adagio for Cello and Orchestra in E Flat”

Total playing time: 68.12