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George Szell Conducts Haydn Symphonies


Release Date: 01/01/2014 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 68779   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Finally, Sony has gathered up and released all of Szell’s Haydn symphony recordings in a box. Nos. 88 and 104 are in well-preserved mono, and you get both recordings of No. 97. The performances are incomparable. Szell was a natural Haydn conductor: witty, razor sharp, colorful, and highly contrasted. The obscene bassoon fart (that’s what it is) in the slow movement of No. 93 has never been matched; wind parts cut through the texture beautifully; trumpets and drums never sound timid or flabby. Szell has the strings playing with immaculate rhythm, perfect intonation, and just the right amount of warmth in the slow movements. It’s an object lesson in correct “period” style. Even in Symphony No. 98, a work that for some reason befuddles even Read more Haydn specialists (Bernstein notably), Szell doesn’t miss a trick. The Mozartian slow movement is just lovely. He also uses the Landon editions of the scores wherever possible—one of the first major conductors to do so. The result is a landmark in the Haydn discovery, and a cornerstone of any serious Haydn symphony collection.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 92 in G major, H 1 no 92 "Oxford" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
2.
Symphony no 96 in D major, H 1 no 96 "Miracle" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; London, England 
3.
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 
4.
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 
5.
Symphony no 95 in C minor, H 1 no 95 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; London, England 
6.
Symphony no 93 in D major, H 1 no 93 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; London, England 
7.
Symphony no 94 in G major, H 1 no 94 "Surprise" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; London, England 
8.
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 
9.
Symphony no 88 in G major, H 1 no 88 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1787 ; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
10.
Symphony no 104 in D major, H 1 no 104 "London" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; London, England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  11 Customer Reviews )
 The recordings to have December 19, 2014 By Morris Reagan (Madison, MS) See All My Reviews "Szell's performances of Symphonies 93 through 98 (from Haydn's first stay in England) are the first recordings ever made using Haydn's original orchestration--the "enrichments" added by 19th century editors have been removed. As a result, Haydn's own leaner orchestration, plus the string quartet-like playing, the hallmark of Szell's Cleveland Orchestra, brings a transparency to these performances to be heard in no other recordings. The inner voices and countermelodies are clearly heard here, whereas in most other recordings they're pretty much lost except as they contribute to the harmony. These recordings of the first set of the London symphonies (93-98) were made toward the end of Szell's career. It's my guess that Szell would have also recorded the second set (99-104) had he lived to do so. (This set also includes Haydn's Nos. 88, 92 and 104, but they were made earlier in Szell's career and don't have the advantage of Haydn's original orchestration. Unfortunately, this album comes with no liner notes, though the dates and venues of the recording sessions are given. The other information I've provided was obtained from other sources." Report Abuse
 Szell's Haydn Excels December 2, 2014 By owen  r. (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "George Szell is firmly ensconsed in the Pantheon of the 20th Century's Great Conductors. He was a terrifying, abusive and insulting tyrant on the podium. As Michael Charry, his Asst. Director, diplomatically stated ''his talent and abilities were so great that it could be intimidating, challenging and instructive...it was not easy.'' Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra's talents are evident in this collection. The Penguin Guide states ''Superb polish in the playing and precise phrasing. Haydn's music obviously struck a deep chord in Szell's sensibility and there is humanity underlying the technical perfection. His perfectionist approach is a dedicated and affectionate one.'' I have the initial CD release of most of these symphonies and these new 24 bit remasterings are far superior. Great music and great sound at $3- per disc. You can't go wrong on this deal!" Report Abuse
 Almost, but not, the best. November 24, 2014 By K. BAKER (HEBER CITY, UT) See All My Reviews "Back in the 1960s, a noted music critic put it thusly: "He (Szell) built his own orchestra. He built the best." Another critic got more to the point: 'With Szell and the CSO, you hear the white spaces between the notes'. What we have here is, as with any Szell /CSO recording, the finest orchestral playing ever recorded. The skill of the CSO is unmatched by any other orchestra before or since. And Szell is no mean interpreter of the classics. Even today, many Szell/CSO recordings set the standard (most notably Dvorak's Slavonic Dances & R Strauss' Death & Transfiguration, but don't skip any Szell CSO Beethoven). But the topic here is Haydn. Szell's Haydn is almost as good as it gets, but there is better, most notably the incomparable partial set of the London Symphonies by Mogens Woldike (and good luck trying to find a copy of these superb performances). Next to Woldike, I'd go for Jochum on DGG. Then its a toss up between Szell & Dorati & Fisher & Beecham & Goodman & Fey. Everything considered, with the exception of Woldike, go for the least expensive of the above mentioned recordings and you will be happy." Report Abuse
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