Tafelmusik wins again
Bobby Watson | Austin TX | 10/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have listened to several hundred Haydn symphony recordings in my life, ranging from the sublime (Dorati, usually, and Davis) to the ridiculous (Bernstein, who couldn't make woodwinds play in tune with the help of -- well, anything). Unlike the usual hackneyed performances of Haydn, which make one long for the end regardless of the tempo, this group, and this conductor particularly, bring an excitement and a sparkle to these pieces that make me want to jump up and down whenever I hear them. Nabokov said that you should read a book with your spine; I feel the same about music. This is one of the few CDs I own that consistently makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. If that doesn't interest you, listen to those other reviewers."
Thank you, Tomcihak
Ryan Richards | Midland, MI United States | 04/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All the other reviewers of this CD are exactly right: This is Haydn played substantially faster than usual. However, Tomcihak was right on with the comment that the added speed is what really brings these performances to life. All of the symphonies recorded here, particularly the famous 88th, can sound anemic and bland if they're taken too slowly. On this CD, all three symphonies are bursting with the special vitality that Haydn's music only has when the players are willing to put some serious energy into it. The liner notes mention that Haydn would laugh out loud at concerts when he heard witty parts of his own music, and I think that comment is especially appropriate here: these energetic, powerful performances are Haydn laughing, while a lot of others portray him as chuckling softly. In addition, ensemble precision, intonation, etc. are all right on target too. It's not often I get a visceral thrill listening to Haydn's music, but this disc can do it. I bought this disc seeking a less restrained alternative to Kuijken's wildly popular recording of these symphonies, and that's exactly what I got. Now I can't go back."