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Haydn: Symphonies 97, 98 & 99 / Szell, Cleveland Orchestra


Release Date: 06/1997 
Label:  Sony Classical Masterworks Catalog #: 62979   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is an especially significant release in Sony's distinguished “Masterworks Heritage“ series, returning the Symphonies 97 and 99 (recorded in 1957) to the catalog and comprising the first stereo release of each. Sonically this transfer offers radical improvement over the old Epic LP of four decades ago. The early stereo image, if not particularly directional, provides greater spread than did the monaural engineering of the Epic disc and, of greater importance, tames the occasionally painful shrillness of that earlier edition. Moreover, this 99 is Szell's only recording of the work and is thus an essential component of his discography. It and 97 receive fleet, tautly controlled readings stamped by textural clarity featuring well-defined Read more winds and brass and benefiting from Szell's sensitivity to motivic structure. I had always thought this 97 to be more intense than the conductor's stereo remake (currently available on a bargain Sony CD), but comparison reveals that this is mainly an illusion created by the dryness of the Epic version, recorded in a Severance Hall lacking the shell that was later added to enhance resonance and was in place when the remake was produced.

The reading of 98 (recorded in 1969) has been on CD for some time and should be more familiar. It is generally stylish, but a bit too bland and comfortable, lacking the flair and animation of the magnificent Toscanini and Colin Davis versions. In the main, however, this is a welcome reissue. Exposition repeats are observed in the first movements of 98 and 99, but not in the finale of the former or in the initial movement of 97.

-- Mortimer H. Frank, FANFARE Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 97 in C major, H 1 no 97 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1792; London, England 
Date of Recording: 1957 
2. Symphony no 99 in E flat major, H 1 no 99 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1957 
3. Symphony no 98 in B flat major, H 1 no 98 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1792; London, England 

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