Artaria Editions is working closely with the international recording label Naxos on major historical series devoted to the eighteenth-century symphony and concerto.

The middle decades of the eighteenth century was a period of enormous intellectual vitality. In musical terms it witnessed not only a sweeping stylistic revolution but also saw the creation of new musical genres and techniques of instrumental composition which would dominate musical thinking for the next two centuries.

Curiously, the period is still for the most part uncharted territory to most performers and listeners; it is, after all, only in comparatively recent times that we have even seen the complete publication and recording of the Haydn symphonies.

Of Haydn's contemporaries, many of whom were gifted and prolific composers, we have heard virtually nothing. All this is about to change with the launching of one the most imaginative and comprehensive recording projects ever undertaken. 

Naxos's new eighteenth-century series promise to revolutionize our understanding of this remarkable period by focussing on many of its most important representatives. Among the composers who are to figure prominently in the early volumes are Johann Stamitz, Carl Stamitz, Michael Haydn, Franz Beck, Leopold Hofmann, Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Karl von Ordonez and Johann Baptist Vanhal, all of whom rank among the most influential contemporaries of Joseph Haydn.

Later volumes will include works by Boccherini, Cannabich, Dussek, Richter, Gassmann, Ries, Hummel, Cimarosa and a host of other composers. In its early stages the series will concentrate primarily on the symphony and concerto but plans are already well advanced for an extensive recording programme of chamber music and vocal music. 

The driving force behind this immensely important historical project is the music publishing house Artaria Editions, the brainchild of New Zealand musicologist Dr Allan Badley and Klaus Heymann, Managing Director of HNH International.

Named after Haydn's Viennese publisher, Artaria's principal role is to select and edit works for recording by orchestras and chamber ensembles in the Naxos stable.

The invaluable by-product of the process is a rapidly growing catalogue of fascinating eighteenth-century repertoire available for purchase from the publisher in good scholarly editions with performing parts. With around 100 works a year to be issued by Naxos and Artaria Editions, Klaus Heymann and Allan Badley confidently expect to create an explosion of interest in this beautiful and civilized repertoire.