In 1964, my friend János Liebner asked me to write him a concerto. He was an excellent cellist, who also played the baryton.
This instrument, that enjoyed a certain vogue in the 18th century, is related to the viol family. It is a kind of six-stringed cello but at the back of the wide neck there are still between seven and nine free strings which can be plucked with the thumb of the left hand. This is what makes its playing technique very difficult. Haydn composed more than a hundred and seventy works for the baryton intended for his master, Prince Esterházy, who himself played the instrument with passion.
By trying to exploit the softness of the sound and the many technical possibilities of this ancient instrument, I realized that my music had of itself adopted an antique style; thus, it was quite natural for me to give my new work the title “All’antica”. — Ferenc Farkas