October 2009 edition


Little known today, composer Jan Josef Ignác Brentner was one of the most successful Bohemian composers of the 18th century. Many of Brentner’s works are catalogued but seem to have been lost, although a scattering of manuscript copies survive throughout the Czech Republic and a large number have been found in Austria. Other copies of his music have turned up, in modified versions, in Bolivia, although no one is quite sure how his music made it to South America.

This chamber concerto is a piece of tafelmusik, or table music, designed for light entertainment. Though the instrumentation of viola d’amore, lute, two oboes, bassoon, and cembalo seems quite exotic, this combination was also used by Brentner’s contemporaries, including Vivaldi, Graupner and Telemann.