The Cello concerto No. 2 in d minor, Op. 59 has belonged both in past and present times to common pieces of cello repertoire. Cello concertos No. 1 in e minor, Op. 57, No. 3 in A major, Op. 60 and No. 5 in G major, Op. 66 were premiered in May 2005 by cellist Beate Altenburg and Anhaltischen Philharmonie Dessau under Golo Berg. The CD released on this occasion remains the only widely available recording with his works.
Franz Xaver Neruda (December 3, 1843 – March 19, 1915) was born in Brno into a musical family. He was the fifth child of the organist of Brno Cathedral Josef Neruda. He grew up in Vienna and first learned violin with father (from 1852) and after the death of his brother Viktor, who played cello, he learned playing it himself. With his father and four siblings he performed through Europe in Neruda Quartet and also solo. In 1859, he studied cello for half a year with Adrien-François Servais.
Later Neruda became member of the royal chapel in Copenhagen. On 3 December 1868, he founded there a chamber music society and the next year, he was named royal chamber musician. In 1869, he married ballet dancer Camilla Cetti. After engagements in London and Manchester, he moved back to Copenhagen until he became appointed by Anton Rubinstein as a successor of cello professor Karl Davydov at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. In 1891, he was appointed conductor of the Stockholm music society and in 1982, conductor of the Copenhagen music society, succeeding Niels Wilhelm Gade. In 1893, he was cello professor at the Copenhagen conservatory. After his death, Carl Nielsen succeeded him as a director of the Copenhagen music society and he composed a Prologue for recitation and orchestra In memoriam Franz Neruda.
Disc: 1 1. Cello concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 57 2. Cello concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 59 3. Cello concerto No. 3 in A major, Op. 60
Disc: 2 1. Cello concerto No. 4 in A minor, Op. 61 2. Cello concerto No. 5 in G major, Op. 66