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CD Review

Franz Joseph Haydn

EMI 85770

Symphonies #93-98

  • Symphony in D Major, Hob I: 93
  • Symphony "Surprise" in G Major, Hob I: 94
  • Symphony in C minor, Hob I: 95
  • Symphony "Miracle" in D Major, Hob I: 96
  • Symphony in C Major, Hob I: 97
  • Symphony in B Flat Major, Hob I: 98
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Beecham
EMI 85770 2CDs
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.com

At $11.00 you'd be nuts to not get this. Nobody did Haydn better than Sir Thomas. Bernstein's New York Philharmonic set is earthier, but Beecham is exquisite, delicate… and he lets the soloists shine. I can't tell you how much pleasure I have derived from listening to these performances over the past several evenings.

To my knowledge this is the first time this set of Beecham recordings has been available in the US. The notes on the package indicate the CD transfers were made in 1992 but I don't recall seeing them here.

Some years ago EMI issued numbers 99-104 in 1992 and then repackaged them again for release just last year on this same GEMINI series. There was a definite improvement in the sound. It may be that if these were issued previously we could deduce that perhaps the sound is better here, too? So it goes. The sound on these discs is very good early stereo. There is clarity to the solos and slight reverb that helps create air sound the music.

To put it another way, at $11.00 you'd be nuts to not get this. Nobody did Haydn better than Sir Thomas. Bernstein's New York Philharmonic set is earthier, but Beecham is exquisite, delicate… and he lets the soloists shine. The concertmaster (whoever it was) and solo bassoonist are simply fantastic. I can't tell you how much pleasure I have derived from listening to these performances over the past several evenings.

Nuff said.

Copyright © 2004, Robert Stumpf II

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