Haydn’s Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in C major (Hob. VIIb:1) was probably composed between 1762 and 1765 when he was already director of music to Prince Esterhàzy. It may have been written for the cellist in the court Orchestra, Joseph Weigl (1740-1820), for whom Haydn most likely also wrote the solo Cello parts in his early symphonies. Weigl was a member of the Esterhàzy ensemble from 1761 to 1769, and thereafter served as a principle cellist in various Viennese ensembles.
The concerto was rediscovered by Oldrich Pulkert who in 1961 found an eighteenth-century manuscript copy (Prag, National Museum, Fonds Radenin) and published the concerto in 1962. Previously, the existence of this piece was known only through Haydn’s entry in his private list of works (the so-called ‘Entwurf’ [‘draft’] catalogue).
The Orchestral setting is modest: besides the Strings (with a non-obligato Bassoon doubling the Bass part) there are two Oboes and two Horns which are reserved almost exclusively for the tutti passages.
This Piano reduction is based on the text given in the complete edition of Haydn’s works as edited by the Joseph Haydn Institute, Cologne (Joseph Haydn Werke, Series III, Vol.2 with Preface and Critical Report, published by G. Henle Verlag, Munich 1981). The Cello part in the Piano reduction is identical to that of the complete edition, and thus follows the Prague source as closely as possible, even in the expression marks and in certain peculiarities of notation.