We are often drawn to Haydn's enormous symphonic or vast chamber music legacy at the expense of many beautiful works such as this lovely collection of songs. Milne, Fink and Ainsely link up with an inspired Roger Vignoles to perform these songs with characteristic aplomb also bringing their own distinctive timbre to proceedings.
First off is a lovely 'Arianna a Naxos', one of Haydn's most intimate cantatas which is sung with such a sensitive desolation, that it brings tears to one's eyes. Of the assorted collection of songs, I was quite naturally, most enthused by the English contributions which are quite beautifully done especially the piquantly titled, 'She never told her love' and 'Fidelity', both exquisite representations of the genre.
Each of the three soloists is quite on top in their respective interpretations with Fink perhaps the most intrinsically involved in the proceedings. Notwithstanding this, I still retain a particular affection for the wonderful Lisa Milne who brings an exquisite shine to her portrayals of English verse.
The disc clocks in at 77 minutes and the whole project is a must have for Haydn enthusiasts who have been weaned on the symphonies and chamber music.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech