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Haydn: 12 London Symphonies / Minkowski, Les Musiciens Louvre

Haydn / Les Musiciens Louvre-grenoble / Minkowski
Release Date: 06/29/2010 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 5176   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 4 Hours 46 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

It would take readings of an ultimate dullness to snuff out the variety, inventiveness, colour, urbanity and sheer joie de vivre of the 12 wonderful symphonies that Joseph Haydn composed for his two triumphant 18-month London visits in the early 1790s. And these latest recordings are never dull.

Marc Minkowski and his period-instrument band may be thought of as early music specialists, yet their approach is the reverse of doctrinaire. His tempos are generally brisk, but Minkowski is also capable of turning in a reading of Symphony No. 99 in E flat – surely one of the two or three greatest of the entire 12 – with the unhurried glow of a latter-day Furtwängler.

Part of the unpredictability doubtless reflects
Read more the fact that these are live recordings; and while the audience is admirably silent, there are a fair number of stampings and sharp intakes of breath from the conductor himself, which may irritate or add to the sense of immediacy, according to taste.

The venue was the Wiener Konzerthaus, a warm, spacious acoustic comparable to the Haydnsaal at Eisenstadt in which Adám Fischer recorded his Haydn cycle for the Nimbus label. This enhances the bloom of the period winds but also tends to boost brass and drums so that wind and string details in tuttis are sometimes overwhelmed.

There are also a few oddities. Whether or not Minkowski has scholarly authority – the notes do not say – for reducing much of the string writing in the eventful second movement of Symphony No. 96 to string quartet, this rather pre-empts the emergence of violin solos near its end. And his attempt to recreate the original shock of the Surprise Symphony with a couple of extra shocks of his own is not so hot.

As for his emulation of Harnoncourt in prefacing the Drum Roll Symphony with a timpani cadenza: this surely cannot be what Haydn initially intended, or the work would have been nicknamed ‘Drum Tattoo’.

Yet at best – in the crisp and sweeping account of the Clock Symphony, for instance – these accounts seem to combine something of the virtues modern instrument recordings, as exemplified by Colin Davis’s evergreen Concertgebouw cycle, with the enhanced precision and pungency of period performance.

Those who feel they have heard some of these works rather too often will have their affection renewed by this lively set.

-- Bayan Northcott, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 96 in D major, H 1 no 96 "Miracle" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 22 Minutes 9 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 95 in C minor, H 1 no 95 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 19 Minutes 18 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 93 in D major, H 1 no 93 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 18 Minutes 39 Secs. 
4.
Symphony no 94 in G major, H 1 no 94 "Surprise" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 21 Minutes 48 Secs. 
5.
Symphony no 98 in B flat major, H 1 no 98 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1792; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 24 Minutes 29 Secs. 
6.
Symphony no 97 in C major, H 1 no 97 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1792; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 23 Minutes 33 Secs. 
7.
Symphony no 99 in E flat major, H 1 no 99 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 25 Minutes 25 Secs. 
8.
Symphony no 100 in G major, H 1 no 100 "Military" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793-1794; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 22 Minutes 6 Secs. 
9.
Symphony no 101 in D major, H 1 no 101 "Clock" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793-1794; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 25 Minutes 34 Secs. 
10.
Symphony no 102 in B flat major, H 1 no 102 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 22 Minutes 38 Secs. 
11.
Symphony no 103 in E flat major, H 1 no 103 "Drumroll" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 28 Minutes 37 Secs. 
12.
Symphony no 104 in D major, H 1 no 104 "London" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/2009 
Venue:  Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 26 Minutes 7 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 96 in D major, Hob.I:96, "The Miracle": I. Adagio - Allegro
Symphony No. 96 in D major, Hob.I:96, "The Miracle": II. Andante
Symphony No. 96 in D major, Hob.I:96, "The Miracle": III. Menuetto: Allegretto
Symphony No. 96 in D major, Hob.I:96, "The Miracle": IV. Finale: Vivace assai
Symphony No. 95 in C minor, Hob.I:95: I. Allegro moderato
Symphony No. 95 in C minor, Hob.I:95: II. Andante cantabile
Symphony No. 95 in C minor, Hob.I:95: III. Minuet
Symphony No. 95 in C minor, Hob.I:95: IV. Finale: Vivace
Symphony No. 93 in D major, Hob.I:93: I. Adagio - Allegro assai
Symphony No. 93 in D major, Hob.I:93: II. Largo cantabile
Symphony No. 93 in D major, Hob.I:93: III. Menuet
Symphony No. 93 in D major, Hob.I:93: IV. Finale: Presto ma non troppo
Symphony No. 94 in G major, Hob.I:94, "The Surprise": I. Adagio cantabile - Vivace assai
Symphony No. 94 in G major, Hob.I:94, "The Surprise": II. Andante
Symphony No. 94 in G major, Hob.I:94, "The Surprise": III. Menuetto
Symphony No. 94 in G major, Hob.I:94, "The Surprise": IV. Finale: Allegro di molto
Symphony No. 98 in B flat major, Hob.I:98: I. Adagio - Allegro
Symphony No. 98 in B flat major, Hob.I:98: II. Adagio
Symphony No. 98 in B flat major, Hob.I:98: III. Menuet: Allegro
Symphony No. 98 in B flat major, Hob.I:98: IV. Finale: Presto
Symphony No. 97 in C major, Hob.I:97: I. Adagio - Vivace
Symphony No. 97 in C major, Hob.I:97: II. Adagio ma non troppo
Symphony No. 97 in C major, Hob.I:97: III. Menuet: Allegretto
Symphony No. 97 in C major, Hob.I:97: IV. Finale: Spiritoso

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