Marian Paradeiser’s Divertimento in E For Two Violins, Viola & Cello is a wonderful addition to Doblinger’s Classical Music Series. It’s a first printing, based on the autograph score in the Austrian National Library. Paradeiser’s Divertimento in E major is one of a set of six, with all original manuscripts in the form of separate string parts. They provide suggestions as to contemporary performance practice with extant accidentals, articulation, and dynamics.
Editor Günter Stummvoll mirrors these in his meticulous and clear edition of this little-known composer. Paradeiser’s six quartets (of which five exist today) reflect the era of Haydn and Mozart, when divertimentos were all the rage for singing, dancing, and instrumental events.
Paradeiser’s history was a tragically short one. Born in 1747, he had become a choir boy in Melk, Austria, by age 12. On the day of his inauguration to the Chair of Divinity at the monastery school there, the young composer and cleric died, aged only 28.
The boy-violinist mainly wrote divertimentos, already penning works in that genre from age 14, though his 65 known secular works also include concertos and symphonies. The divertimentos were popularly received, some reaching the court of Emperor Joseph II, who liked to play the cello part in these quartets.
Akin to Michael Haydn and early Mozart, this charming four-movement divertimento is replete with cantabile tunes in the opening Moderato, followed by an elegant minuet, a poignant Adagio, and a sparkling Presto finale. Like Schubert and Mozart, who knows what even greater heights the young composer and violinist would have scaled had he lived longer?
Bravo to Doblinger for bringing this beautiful work to light.