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Michael Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 14, 17, 19, 24, 29, 33, 40 & 41 / Beermann, Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss

Haydn / Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss / Beermann
Release Date: 01/26/2010 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777137   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Frank BeermannJohannes Goritzki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Academy Neuss
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



M. HAYDN Symphonies: in F; 1 No. 14; 1 No. 17; 1 No. 19; 1 No. 24; 1 No. 29; 1 No. 33; 1 No. 40; 2 No. 41. 2 3 Read more Marches 2 1 Frank Beerman, 2 Johannes Goritzki (cond); Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss CPO 777 137-2 (2 CDs: 155:54)


It is a painful commentary on how badly skewed the standard symphonic repertoire is, that from it one would suppose the only worthwhile composers active between 1760 and 1810 were Mozart, F. J. Haydn, and Beethoven. We can therefore be devoutly grateful that recordings bring us so much fine music that seldom or never makes it into most concert halls, such as the present set of symphonies by Michael Haydn. While he was not blessed with the extraordinary genius of either his brother Joseph or of Mozart (his colleague in Salzburg from 1773 to 1781), lacking the astonishing sheer inventiveness of the former and supernal formal perfection of the latter, he was a first-rate composer whose works are of considerably higher stature than those of most of his confrères , and deserve regularly to grace our ears.


In style, Michael Haydn’s symphonies are poised almost exactly halfway between his two great contemporaries; they often demonstrate a wit akin to his brother (e.g., the opening Vivace of No. 33), but a melodic and harmonic palette nearer to his junior associate (e.g., the Andante of the unnumbered Symphony in F Major). Indeed, the kinship between Michael Haydn and Mozart is often so close that one might fool friends in a parlor game by cueing up a movement from a Michael Haydn symphony and asking them to identify which earlier Mozart symphony they are hearing. (And, given that the Symphony in F Major was written in 1760 when Mozart was but four years old, the influence clearly ran initially from the elder man to the younger adolescent, though later on an interchange doubtless ran both ways.) The chief difference is that Michael Haydn’s symphonies remain somewhat more old-fashioned in form, instrumentation, and style. A number of symphonies follow the older three-movement pattern; scoring never includes clarinets, and almost never a flute; an independent part for a pair of bassoons appears beginning only in 1779. Prior to that, only strings, oboes, and horns are present, with trumpets and timpani sometimes added. Written primarily in the gallant style, the music always winningly engages but never fundamentally challenges the listener.


With this set, the cpo series of Michael Haydn symphonies finally nears completion after almost 20 years; of the 41 enumerated works, only numbers 13 and 20 have not been committed to disc. The first batch, a six-CD budget-priced megaset of 20 symphonies with the Slovak Chamber Orchestra under Bohdan Warchal recorded in 1990–91, featured the kind of conscientious but rather pedestrian playing of numerous provincial ensembles and conductors that for all too long made an indifferent case for Classical era works outside the standard symphonic canon. That changed radically in 1994 with the subsequent CD issues, all recorded with the present ensemble under its founder, Johannes Goritzki, using modern instruments but thoroughly informed by period-instrument practices. The CD with symphonies 1C, 22, 23, and 33 received a glowing review from Barry Brenesal in Fanfare 26:5, and this set is of the same extremely high caliber. At every turn the performances are lively, pointed, and gracious, with elegant, crisp, spirited playing and excellent sectional balance. No indication is given as to why the last two symphonies and three marches (all charming miniatures) were recorded instead with Beermann, but I cannot detect any strongly distinct interpretive profile between the two conductors. One vainly wishes that the first set would be rerecorded to match the standards of its successors. The recorded sound is clean and clear, and the booklet notes are exceptionally informative. Enthusiastically recommended.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony in B flat major, MH 425 (P 24) by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Academy Neuss
Period: Classical 
Written: 09/28/1786 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 16 Minutes 7 Secs. 
2. Symphony in D minor, MH 393 (P 20) by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Period: Classical 
Written: 12/30/1784 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 16 Minutes 17 Secs. 
3. Symphony in D major, MH 198 (P 11) by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Period: Classical 
Written: 04/17/1774 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 20 Minutes 15 Secs. 
4. Symphony in A major, MH 302 (P 15) by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Period: Classical 
Written: 07/19/1781 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 5 Minutes 38 Secs. 
5. Symphony in F major, MH 25 by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1757-1764 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 10 Minutes 1 Secs. 
6. Symphony in B flat major, MH 133 (P 52) by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1757-1764 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
7. Symphony in E major, MH 151 (P 44) by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 08/01/1771 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
8. Symphony in A major, MH 508 (P 33) by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Johannes Goritzki
Period: Classical 
Written: 07/26/1789 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 12 Minutes 23 Secs. 
9. Symphony in F major, MH 507 (P 32) by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Johannes Goritzki
Period: Classical 
Written: 07/15/1789 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 15 Minutes 9 Secs. 
10. March in F major, MH 421 by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Johannes Goritzki
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Salzburg, Austria 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
11. March in D major, MH 515 by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Johannes Goritzki
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Salzburg, Austria 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
12. March in D major, MH 441 by Michael Haydn
Conductor:  Johannes Goritzki
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Salzburg, Austria 
Venue:  Zeughaus Neuss 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 33 in B flat major, P. 24: I. Vivace
Symphony No. 33 in B flat major, P. 24: II. Adagietto: Cantabile
Symphony No. 33 in B flat major, P. 24: III. Menuetto: Allegro
Symphony No. 33 in B flat major, P. 24: IV. Finale: Presto ma non troppo
Symphony No. 29 in D minor, P. 20: I. Allegro brillante
Symphony No. 29 in D minor, P. 20: II. Andantino
Symphony No. 29 in D minor, P. 20: III. Rondeau: Presto scherzante
Symphony No. 19 in D major, P. 11: I. Allegro
Symphony No. 19 in D major, P. 11: II. Andante
Symphony No. 19 in D major, P. 11: III. Menuetto
Symphony No. 19 in D major, P. 11: IV. Finale: Presto assai
Symphony No. 24 in A major, P. 15: I. Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 24 in A major, P. 15: II. Andante cantabile
Symphony No. 24 in A major, P. 15: III. Menuetto
Symphony No. 24 in A major, P. 15: IV. Presto
Symphony in F major, P. deest: I. Allegro
Symphony in F major, P. deest: II. Andante
Symphony in F major, P. deest: III. Menuetto
Symphony in F major, P. deest: IV. Presto
Symphony No. 14 in B flat major, P. 52: I. Allegro molto
Symphony No. 14 in B flat major, P. 52: II. Concertino per il Fagotto
Symphony No. 14 in B flat major, P. 52: III. Menuet
Symphony No. 17 in E major, P. 44: I. Allegro
Symphony No. 17 in E major, P. 44: II. Andante
Symphony No. 17 in E major, P. 44: III. Menuetto
Symphony No. 17 in E major, P. 44: IV. Allegro con spirito
Symphony in A major, P. 33: I. Spirituoso
Symphony in A major, P. 33: II. Andante
Symphony in A major, P. 33: III. Fugato: Vivace molto
Symphony No. 40 in F major, P. 32: I. Allegro molto
Symphony No. 40 in F major, P. 32: II. Adagio ma non troppo
Symphony No. 40 in F major, P. 32: III. Rondeau: Vivace
March in F major, P. 59
March in D major, P. 64
March in D major, P. 62

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