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  • Franz Benda (Composer) - Short Biography
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Benda, F.: Violin Concerto / Benda, J. A.: Viola Concerto

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To be precise, defendant Benda is now employed by Cardio Care Systems, Inc., a corporation which he created just after he left . Cardio Care is an independent contractor for Intermedics

Born in Old Benatek (today ), , he studied at the (grammar school) in and at the Gymnasium in from 1735 to 1742. Benda was 19 when bestowed upon him in 1741 the position of second violinist in the chapel of Berlin. The following year Benda was summoned to as a composer and for his older brother , himself an illustrious composer and violinist. Seven years later, in 1749, he entered the service of the as where he constantly cultivated his talents for , specializing in religious music.


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This double-album contains the four concertos for flute and strings of Franz Benda. This member of a musical family was born in 1709 and joined the household of Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia as a violinist in 1733. He stayed with Frederick the Great, as he became, for the rest of his life, assuming the leadership of his orchestra in 1771. Franz Benda was less prolific a composer than his younger brother Georg and, it would seem from these concertos, less varied in his style. That is not to say that his manner is either dull or unattractive but that he is, to my ears, almost invariably more interesting when writing for his own instrument, the violin, than for that of his musical patron. The flute concertos were doubtless written for Frederick to play and they are not always technically straightforward but the chief interest in them lies more perhaps in Benda's lively, sometimes unusual, tutti ritornellos than in the solo sections. A cursory acquaintance with the music might suggest the Berlin style of C. P. E. Bach as much as anything, but there is a greater element of bel canto in the slow movements, whilst the faster ones are less idiosyncratic and more in the mainstream manner of the Mannheimers.
As I write, we are still commemorating the two-hundredth anniversary of the death of Franz Benda for which occasion this album partly was produced. I'm afraid that it has been an anniversary entirely overlooked by me until the arrival of these performances. The other event which the recording commemorates, I am sad to relate, is the death of Milan Muclinger early in 1986. All musically inclined students of the 1960s will remember with gratitude his many performances of late-baroque music on the Supraphon label, modestly priced at 17s. 6d. and, in those days, amongst the only records within reach of the student's pocket. The lively performances, the spirited enjoyment of the music conveyed by Muclinger and his Ars Rediviva orchestra, and the unexplored repertoire add up to a fitting tribute to the conductor and flautist. Some of the notions of style seem a little dated today—I'm thinking particularly of the somewhat rambling and verbose cadenzas—but in many respects these readings can be warmly recommended. There is plenty of sensitive playing from both the soloist, Andras Adorjan and the orchestra, with some effectively light bowing from the cello section. The recorded sound is first rate. In short, an issue of largely unfamiliar music which is well worth exploring.'