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CD Review

Franz Joseph Haydn


  • Arianna a Naxos, Hob XXVIb:2 1
  • Das Leben ist ein Traum, Hob XXVIa:21 1
  • Auch die sprödeste der Schönen, Hob XXVIa:18 1
  • Sailor's song, Hob XXVIa:31 2
  • Recollection, Hob XXVIa:26 3
  • The wanderer, Hob XXVIa:32 2
  • Pastoral song, Hob XXVIa:27 3
  • Piercing eyes, Hob XXVIa:35 2
  • Despair, Hob XXVIa:28 3
  • Sympathy, Hob XXVIa:33 2
  • Pleasing pain, Hob XXVIa:29 3
  • She never told her love, Hob XXVIa:34 2
  • The mermaid's song, Hob XXVIa:25 3
  • Transport of pleasure 'Content', Hob XXVIa:36 2
  • Fidelity, Hob XXVIa:30 3
  • The spirit's song, Hob XXVIa:41 1
  • O tuneful voice, Hob XXVIa:42 3
1 Bernarda Fink, mezzo-soprano
2 John Mark Ainsley, tenor
3 Lisa Milne, soprano
Roger Vignoles, piano
Hyperion CDA67174 77m DDD
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon Japan
Reissued on Helios CDH55355: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe - JPC

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