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Haydn: Symphonies No 76, 77, 78 / Roy Goodman, Hanover Band


Release Date: 12/10/2002 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55122   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 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

With Volume 6 of their complete cycle the Hanover Band alight on the trio of works Haydn composed in 1782 for an aborted visit to London. These were his first symphonies designed expressly for foreign consumption, and Nos. 76 and 77 in particular are altogether suaver in manner, less quirky and volatile, than most of the works of the previous decade. And alongside an almost Mozartian surface polish goes a new sophistication of thematic development (shown most obviously in the contrapuntal intricacies of No. 77's outer movements and the opening Vivace of No. 78) that calls to mind the recently published Op. 33 string quartets.

As before, Goodman's performances are marked by colourful textures, brisk tempos and energetic,
Read more thrustful rhythms. These readings score high in sheer physical excitement, especially in the finale of No. 77 and the outer movements of No. 78, all of which develop a powerful cumulative tension. To anyone who has come to know these symphonies in the fine Dorati performances (Decca, 6/91) the minuets will initially come as a shock, with their strong accents and zestful, almost one-in-a-bar tempos. But though those in Nos. 76 and 78 (marked Allegretto) lack something in poise and elegance, the trios emerge as delightfully bucolic Viennese waltzes; and the stomping minuet of No. 77, marked, unusually for this period, Allegro, here becomes a real miniature scherzo.

Elsewhere, though, I'm not always sure that Goodman's bristling energy and direct, nononsense phrasing uncover all that this music has to offer. I'm thinking, for instance, of the outer movements of No. 76, whose warmth and easygoing lyricism are rather skated over (at this speed the expansive main theme of the finale, with its pervasive grace notes, seems uncomfortably fid gety), and of the beautiful slow movements of Nos. 76 and 77, which could be moulded with greater affection and subtlety: in No. 76's Adagio ma non troppo, for example, the accompaniment to the increasingly florid main theme is distinctly heavy, while the pianissimo B flat minor episode (at 2'39") could be more hushed and mysterious— and the tuning of the wind chords here is sometimes a bit sour.

At the risk of incensing many readers, I should also add that, as in the first two volumes in the series, I found Goodman's harpsichord continuo over-intrusive both in tutti sections, where he remorselessly reinforces repeated-note basses, and in lightly scored music—at the beginning of No. 77's Andante for instance, the harpsichord distracts the attention from Haydn's exquisite string textures. Still, despite my cavils there's a lot of eager and invigorating music-making here, with a particularly exciting performance of No. 78. Certainly, no one who has enjoyed previous volumes in the Hyperion Edition should hesitate to investigate these three superb and still little-known symphonies.

-- Gramophone [5/1992]
reviewing the original release of this title, Hyperion 66525
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 76 in E flat major, H 1 no 76 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Roy Goodman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1782; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Length: 26 Minutes 1 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 77 in B flat major, H 1 no 77 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Roy Goodman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1782; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Length: 21 Minutes 4 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 78 in C minor, H 1 no 78 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Roy Goodman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1782; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Length: 23 Minutes 13 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Smooth and Brilliant. September 22, 2012 By John W. (Woori Yallock Vic., Australia) See All My Reviews "What can one say about this CD that adequately commends it? These are some of Haydn's greatest Symphonies, and the Goodman's interpretations are very acceptable. His tempos are most suitable, and the orchestra responds with energy and enthusiasm. However, all the works are firmly controlled and polished. This recording of the 77th Symphony is the best I have heard in the past fifty years- a big call, but true!" Report Abuse
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