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Haydn: Symphonies Vol 7 / Hogwood, Academy Of Ancient Music


Release Date: 04/29/2008 
Label:  L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog #: 443777   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 41 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Collectors of Hogwood’s evolving Haydn cycle should by now have a pretty fair idea of its merits. The orchestral playing in these six works, all dating from the climacteric years of the early 1770s, is fresh, lithe and spirited, beautifully tuned and balanced. Tempos are on the whole shrewdly judged, rhythms crisply pointed, textures light and transparent, with pungent contributions from oboes and horns. Hogwood’s Haydn tends to cut a rather more elegant, dapper figure than that evoked in the rival period performances listed above; and certain symphonies seem to me to come off better than others. The A major, No. 64, is especially successful, its first movement broader and more graciously shaped than under Bruno Weil, its searching Largo Read more (whose strange discontinuities prefigure the “Capriccio” in No. 86) finely sustained, with refined, delicate string playing. The minuet, characteristically, is delightfully spruce (Weil, equally typically, is brisker and more earthy), the quizzical, eccentric finale taut and fiery.

I liked, too, Hogwood’s unhurried reading of No. 51, enhanced by superlative playing of Haydn’s excruciatingly difficult horn parts from the familiar duo of Anthony Halstead and Christian Rutherford. In the outer movements the spacious tempos are offset by sharp rhythmic definition and alert phrasing, and both develop a powerful cumulative impact. There is much to enjoy in the other two major-key symphonies, Nos. 46 and 47, especially in the minuets (that of No. 46 done more broadly than in the three rival performances, to its advantage) and the gamesome, athletic finales. Hogwood’s measured tempo does, though, rather tame the highly strung opening Vivace of No. 46 – there is little sense of mounting urgency, for instance, in the three-note quaver figure that pervades the development. And while the light, flowing reading of No. 46’s Poco adagio, emphasizing its siciliano associations, works well enough, the variation slow movement of No. 47 suffers from rather flat phrasing and a touch of rhythmic stiffness, with the increasingly animated string figuration in danger of sounding mechanical.

As for the two turbulent minor-key symphonies, Hogwood’s readings are always alive and lucid. In both first movements though, the adrenalin count is decidedly lower than in the larger-scaled readings from Weil and Tafelmusik, with their more incisive accents and dynamic contrasts and sharper response to the music’s extreme rhythmic and harmonic tensions. Still, both finales are dispatched with panache at a cracking pace (and the valedictory Adagio of No. 45 is touchingly managed), and Hogwood brings a slinky, feline elegance, again with a strong feeling for the dance, to No. 52’s Andante.

Unlike all his rivals, Hogwood makes all second-time repeats in sonata movements, a partial compensation for L’Oiseau-Lyre’s rather niggardly measure, with only two symphonies per disc. I should certainly not want to be without Hogwood’s spruce, gracious readings of No. 51 and of the marvellous No. 64. And there are many memorable things in his versions of the remaining four symphonies.

-- Richard Wigmore, Gramophone [10/1996]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 45 in F sharp minor, H 1 no 45 "Farewell" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 03/1993 
Venue:  Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London 
Length: 31 Minutes 53 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 46 in B major, H 1 no 46 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 03/1993 
Venue:  Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London 
Length: 25 Minutes 13 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 47 in G major, H 1 no 47 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 07/1993 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 23 Minutes 53 Secs. 
4.
Symphony no 51 in B flat major, H 1 no 51 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1774; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 08/1993 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 28 Minutes 28 Secs. 
5.
Symphony no 52 in C minor, H 1 no 52 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1774; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 07/1993 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 30 Minutes 37 Secs. 
6.
Symphony no 64 in A major, H 1 no 64 "Tempora mutantur" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1778; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 08/1993 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 20 Minutes 42 Secs. 

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