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Symphonies 76-78 Import

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, Import, November 19, 1993
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I. Allegro
  2. II. Adagio, Ma Non Troppo
  3. III. Menuet (Allegretto)
  4. IV. Finale: Allegro, Ma Non Troppo
  5. I. Vivace
  6. II. Andante Sostenuto
  7. III. Menuetto: Allegro
  8. IV. Allegro Spiritoso
  9. I. Vivace
  10. II. Adagio
  11. III. Menuetto: Allegretto
  12. IV. Finale: Presto


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 19, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B000002ZQA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,642 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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When Napoleon's artillery was shelling Vienna, Haydn is reported to have said, "My children, have no fear, for where Haydn is, no harm can befall you." I wonder: was this statement aimed at his contemporaries or was it addressed to posterity and beyond?

Hopefully it is the latter.

We can always return to Haydn. He is ever waiting. Worldly wise himself, he does not seem to mind that we wander off for a while into the arms of others. He is kingly in his gifts: what is a mere Faberge egg in comparison with the Razor Quartet or the Hornsignal Symphony? And who walks away empty-handed after an embrace? Not many. Better still, he channels the imperturbable calm that lies at the heart of being. Nowadays we need him more than ever.

Which brings us to the three symphonies in question. Symphony 76 is the triumph of craftsmanship over inspiration but it is still very listenable all the same. Its successor, Number 77 in B Flat, is a bona fide dud; Haydn must have been on autopilot when he excreted it. The star of the troika is Haydn's second last symphony in C Minor, No. 78. While it may lack the wildness of his Sturm und Drang excursions, its declamatory bursts of anger are compensation enough. The slow movement is unique: it is surely Haydn sounding his barbaric yawp across the roofs of the world: whether you like it or not, I am here!

Period Practice though they be, the performances here could scarcely be bettered. There is no clipped phrasing. Roy Goodman on the continuo adds to the allure. Such be the calibre of the music-making, the decision to repeat developments is palatable enough.
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