In 1781 Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf conceived a ground-breaking, multi-media project to compose and have published a series of fifteen symphonies based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Each symphony was to be graced by newly commissioned engravings and synopses. In the event, only six symphonies were published (and without engravings) and these are the only works from the set to survive in orchestral form. The works heard here are four-hand arrangements of three of the lost symphonies, possibly Dittersdorf’s attempt to salvage something from the project. These fascinating works juxtapose conventional structures with fluid, unconventional music transforming Ovid’s ‘tableaux’ into dramatic structures teeming with incident and wit.
James Tibbles & Michael Tsalka (fortepianos)