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CD Review

Franz Joseph Haydn

"Paris" Symphonies

  • Symphony "The Bear" in C Major, Hob I: 82 (1785)
  • Symphony "The Hen" in G minor, Hob I: 83 (1785)
  • Symphony "In Nomine Domini" in E Flat Major, Hob I: 84 (1785)
  • Symphony "La Reine de France" in B Flat Major, Hob I: 85 (1786)
  • Symphony in D Major, Hob I: 86 (1786)
  • Symphony in A Major, Hob I: 87 (1786)
L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet
Decca 471062-2 (or 470062-2) 140m ADD Rec 1962
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You would not normally associate Haydn with Ansermet but these splendidly lifelike and invigorating readings show that this multi-faceted composer had quite a talent for the baroque and early romantic genre. #82, "The Bear" is particularly exciting with a strong pair of opening and concluding movements. "La Poule" is also given an effusive reading whilst the celebratory #85 is also splendidly interpreted.

The works without a name are also dispatched with customary and consummate perfection showing Ansermet's obvious affection for the music. When comparing these recordings with other trump Haydn interpreters such as Doráti, Fischer and Brüggen, Ansermet holds his own as a truly authentic and charismatic conductor. Decca's fine recording has come up trumps in this remastered double album and I would urge collectors who do not have these symphonies in their collection to secure this immaculately presented set.

Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech