Antonio Rosetti (ca. 1750 – 1792), born in Bohemia, spent the best years of his life in Germany, in small principalities, far removed from the music capitals of his age. However, the English music historian Charles Burney, who undertook extensive travels in Europe, ranked him among the most outstanding musicians of his time and as the equal of Haydn and Mozart. The public loved Rosetti – and there is plenty of documentary evidence to show that his works were often played throughout Europe. By the end of the 1790s, at least half of those of Rosetti’s compositions that have come down to us had been published, some of them, more- over, by very well-established music publishers.
Throughout his comparatively short life, Rosetti wrote quite a lot of music. Today we know of the existence of over 400 works: more than 40 symphonies, about 60 concertos for different instruments (piano, violin, viola, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon), upwards of 20 works for brass band, a lot of chamber music, pieces for piano, songs and sacred choral music. The works he composed in his mature years are distinguished by their infinitely rich and colourful harmonic language, full of chromatic inflection, and by very inventive instrumentation.