It would be a sad day if Haydn and Mozart symphonies were only to be heard on period instruments, but with Sir Georg Solti and Sir Colin Davis jointly perpetuating the tradition of Haydn performances which Beecham created in the 78rpm era, with its combination of elegance and warm humanity, we need have no fears on this score.
The new coupling is among Sir Colin's finest records, moreover, the Philips engineers have achieved an even fresher and more transparent sound in the Concertgebouw than hitherto in this repertoire. There is weight, too, of course, but it never overwhelms and the Concertgebouw strings (if I may be permitted a mixed metaphor) have an airy silkiness that is wholly engaging. La poule clucks piquantly in theRead more second subject of Symphony No. 83 and throughout this splendid music-making we are entertained while the spirit is refreshed, as Haydn intended. Both slow movements are full of grace and Davis ensures that fortissimos are crisply rhythmic, never heavy. The opening of No. 83 is marked Allegro spiritoso and how well this is calculated: the playing is lithe, yet there is a certain drama too, while Davis chooses a similarly perfect tempo for the Minuet (Allegretto) with its tripping flute, dainty but not effete in the Trio. Both finales are marked Vivace; there is sparkle but no hurry, and no one could possibly remain doleful in this music.
FantasticNovember 27, 2016By M. Shelton (Washington, DC)See All My Reviews"This is a fantastic recording of the Bear and Hen symphonies. Sir Colin Davis was brilliant when it came to conducting Haydn, and the Concertgebouw--one of the world's top orchestras--rises to the occasion. There was a slight skip in the first movement of the Hen symphony on my disc (at about the 1:28 mark), but who cares? It's a glorious recording. I also highly recommend the Davis/Concertgebouw recording of the Oxford symphony."Report Abuse