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Haydn: Symphonies No 70, 71, 72 / Roy Goodman, Hanover Band

Release Date: 12/10/2002 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55120   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Roy Goodman
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

With this disc, Vol. 7 in their ongoing cycle, the Hanover Band virtually complete their survey of the symphonies numbered in the 70s, not a specially favoured area of Haydn's output. The least unfamiliar work here, No. 70, is an eccentric masterpiece, written in 1779 for a ceremony at which Prince Esterházy laid the foundation stone for a sumptuous new opera house after the original one had been destroyed by fire. Itjuxtaposes a racy, thrustful first movement and minuet with two extraordinary D minor movements that draw on baroque contrapuntal techniques: the last has as its centrepiece a powerful and thrilling triple fugue.

Symphony No. 71 is an altogether suaver, more urbane work, though there are many subtleties in
Read more the first movement, with its extended, tonally unstable second group, and in the delicately wrought Adagio variations, which culminate in an elaborate cadenza for full orchestra. But as in No. 70, it is the finale, urgent and purposefully argued (for all the second theme's rustic jollity), that carries the work's highest specific gravity. The third work here, No. 72, is wildly out of place in Mandyczewski's traditional numbering, and dates from the early 1760s. With its star billing for four horns and slow variation finale it sounds like a trial run—and, to be frank, often an insipid one—for No. 31, the Hornsignal. The opening Allegro has an agreeable momentum and some entertaining horn pyrotechnics; but both the slow movement, a jejune dialogue between violin and flute, and the knit-your-own final variations put serious strains on my powers of attention.

The Hanover Band's performances are very much in line with previous discs in their Haydn series. If the playing has the occasional rough edge, rhythms are strong and exuberant, articulation crisp and buoyant and textures ideally transparent, with horns and woodwind excitingly prominent in the tuttis. Tempos, with one excep tion, tend to be rather brisker than, say, Dorati's in his complete modern-instrument cycle for Decca (6/91), but never strike me as rushed. I specially liked the immense brio of the first movement of No. 70, with its witty, pointed phrasing (in the repeats Goodman occasionally adds his own humorous touches—naughty but nice), and the powerful drive that the Hanover Band bring to the finales of Nos. 70 and 71—a pity, though, that Goodman, true to his policy for the whole series, performs No. 70 in its original version, without Haydn's later addition of trumpets and drums. Predictably, the horn antics in No. 72 are brilliantly dispatched by Anthony Halstead and his accomplices, and there's some deft solo playing from virtually every other instrument in the slow movement and the finale—though the accompaniment sometimes obscures the violone (doublebass) in Var. No. 4.

As with some of the earlier discs in the series, I did feel that the slow movements were slightly short on finesse and breadth of line: the persistent two-note accompanying figure in that of No. 72, for instance, is often too loud and unsubtle (compare the tact and delicacy of Dorati and the Philharmonia Hungarica here); while in the Adagio of No. 71, despite some felicitous wind playing, the slow tempo (for once considerably slower than Dorati) is not quite sustained, with the music tending to proceed phrase by phrase, even bar by bar—I didn't get the feeling that the violins were thinking through their rests here, and, again, the bass line can plod. But I wouldn't want to make too much of these criticisms. The great majority of movements on this disc have abundant life and colour, true to Haydn in both letter and spirit; all conceivable repeats are observed (which you may feel is too much of a good thing in No. 72, but that's hardly the orchestra's fault); and, as before, Hyperion's recording is attractively resonant but never at the expense of detail.

-- Gramophone [9/1992]
reviewing the original release of this title, Hyperion 66526
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 70 in D major, H 1 no 70 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Roy Goodman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778-1779; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Length: 17 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Symphony no 71 in B flat major, H 1 no 71 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Roy Goodman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1780; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Length: 32 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Symphony no 72 in D major, H 1 no 72 no 72 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Roy Goodman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1765; Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Length: 25 Minutes 18 Secs. 

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