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CD Review

Franz Joseph Haydn

Symphonies #42-44

  • Symphony #42 in D Major
  • Symphony #43 in E Flat Major, 'Mercury'
  • Symphony #44 in E minor, 'Trauer'
The Hanover Band/Roy Goodman
Hyperion Helios CDH55117 79m DDD
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One of the genuine disappointments in Hyperion's otherwise brilliant history was their non completion of Roy Goodman's Haydn cycle. This was inexplicably halted, probably due to lack of funding for such a mammoth project.

However, there is much to enjoy in these recent releases of the symphonies that made it onto disc on the Helios label, with the latest batch to be recorded emanating from Haydn's productive 'Sturm und Drang' period.

Symphony #42 is exquisitely done with the strings particularly impressive in the Andantino whilst the concluding Finale is also pretty boisterous. I also enjoyed Goodman's 'Mercury' and having grown up with Eivind Aadland's similarly excellent version on the now defunct Pickwick label, this newly refurbished issue certainly takes the cake for propulsive energy especially in the opening Allegro.

The 'Trauer' was also introduced for me on the admirable Pickwick label with Lubbock and his Orchestra of SJSS, but Goodman is certainly very dark and deep in his handling of this celebrated symphony.

These are strong performances, beautifully recorded and at this price, they do make for an outstanding bargain.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech