This is the third disc in MD&G's excellent Haydn symphony circle, which has so far focused on the late symphonies and with the versatile Adam Fischer at the helm. This time, as in previous issues, we also have a short overture thrown in for good measure and which is an ideal tonic between the two symphonies.
Having already acquired Fischer's monumental complete Haydn cycle on Nimbus, I am in a good position to compare both interpretations. The MD&G recording is that bit clearer and this tells in the shimmering opening movement of Symphony #97 which moves quickly from an Adagio to a spirited Vivace that has the Philharmonie's violins in full cry.
However the major work of special interest here is #102 which is bubbly and infectious although I have to admit that Sir Thomas Beecham is slightly more exciting in this great composition. Again, the sound of this new modern version is superior to Fischer's previous outing and he brings more energy and grit to the Finale.
There are quite a few fine Haydn cycles around but if you are collecting anew, then this disc will certainly not disappoint. My only gripe is the short playing time although that is amply compensated by the quality on offer.
Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech