The idea for this recording originated from a direct comparison of the two songs “Cupido” and “Kupido” by the famous composer Joseph Haydn and the lesser-known Viennese composer Johann Holzer. Although both masters use the same text, the musical settings differ considerably in both nature and form. While Haydn’s tunes present the content with a twinkle in the eye and a great deal of subtlety, Holzer’s piece invites the listener to dance along, sparkling with joie de vivre and musicality.
Joseph Haydn’s songs encompass a wide musical range and are of invaluable significance for the development of the genre: they represent a crucial part in the advancement of the Viennese lied, leading up to Franz Schubert.
Around the same time, between 1778 and 1791, a song collection of the highest quality was produced in Vienna, the importance of which has been completely forgotten over the centuries. Josef Anton Steffan, Johann Holzer, Carl Friberth, Leopold Kozeluch, Martin Ruprecht and Franz Anton Hoffmeister were only some of the many highly creative composers based in the Austrian imperial city. These composers prepared the ground for the accomplished art songs of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.
As with many Viennese characteristics, a wide variety of stylistic devices are intermingled: folk-like elements, characteristics of the Singspielied and the North German lied are formed into a completely new musical genre with the additional influence of the Italian aria.
The connection to the nineteenth century is made by French songs, first issued in Vienna in 1810 by the Italian guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani. For this project, a historical string instrument was chosen to provide an even greater sense of intimacy.
Erich Traxler played on a historic 1815 Innsbruck fortepiano by Johann Georg Gröber, and Christian Haimel played a gut-strung guitar of around 1850, inspired by Johann Anton Stauffer and built by an anonymous maker.
All these special features are intended to breathe new life into the romantic songs about love, passion, tenderness, affection, loss, fidelity and infidelity, providing a genuine, unadulterated and natural character. They enchant and seduce us into an old Vienna full of longing, devotion, charm, wit and a musical zest for life!
JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809)  Cupido (Gottlieb Leon) 2:57  Die zu späte Ankunft der Mutter (Ch.F. Weiße) 2:50 JOSEF ANTON STEFFAN (1726-1797)  Dein süßes Bild (Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock) 3:52 CARL FRIBERTH (1736-1812)  Warnung an die Mädchen (in Ramlers Blumenlese) 1:42 JOSEPH HAYDN  She never told her love (Shakespeare) 3:03  Eine sehr gewöhnliche Geschichte (Ch.F. Weiße) 2:41  Trost unglücklicher Liebe 6:56 MAURO GIULIANI (1781-1829)  Romance 3:03 JOSEPH HAYDN  Der erste Kuss (J.G. Jacobi) 3:03 LEOPOLD KOZELUCH (1748-1818)  Vogelstellerlied (Moritz August von Thümmel) 2:02 MAURO GIULIANI  Mon coeur soupire 2:34 JOHANN HOLZER (1753 – 1818)  Zwei Augen (Alois Blumauer) 1:17 JOSEF ANTON STEFFAN (1726-1797)  Das Mädchen am Ufer (Joh. Gottfried Herder) 2:42 JOHANN HOLZER  Kupido (Gottlieb Leon) 2:37 CARL FRIBERTH  Das ungetreue Mädchen (Graf v. Schlieben o. Putbus) 3:42 LEOPOLD KOZELUCH  An die kleine Schöne (Gotthold Ephraim Lessing) 1:39 JOHANN HOLZER  Liebeslied (Gottlieb Leon) 2:39 MAURO GIULIANI  Romanze 2:13 FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812)  Der Entschluss 2:15