Since its inception in 1969, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has been one of the premiere ensembles of its type in America, particularly when it comes to classical masters like Mozart and Haydn, and Baroque composers like Handel, Bach, and Vivaldi. On this relatively little-known 1992 recording, the orchestra and its then-Music Director Christof Perick give us a look at three symphonies from "Papa" Haydn and prove themselves to be the equal of any ensemble of their size, either in America or the world at large.
The recording starts off with a spirited performance of the Symphony No. 82, the first of six symphonies Haydn wrote for Paris in 1785 and 1786. It is known as the "Bear", because of the drone effect that begins the final movement, suggesting a dancing bear. Perick and the L.A.C.O. bring out the most in this piece; and while they may not match Colin Davis' early 1980s recording of this piece with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in terms of sonic impact, they do the symphony proud all the same.
The middle work here is the early Symphony No. 38, which Haydn composed during his early years as the court composer at Esterhazy. Here, the L.A.C.O. takes the piece with the preciseness of the many period-instrument recordings of Haydn, right down to the use of a harpsichord as a continuo instrument, but without the fussiness or the dogmatic stick-with-the-tempo attitude of the original-instrument crowd.
The concluding work is Haydn's last symphony, No. 104, the "London" symphony (the last of the dozen symphonies he composed for London in between 1791 and 1795). The dramatic slow opening in D Minor leads into a spirited first movement, and is propelled by Perick and the orchestra all the way, with very solid dynamics.Read more ›
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