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Haydn: 12 London Symphonies [Box set]

Joseph Haydn , Marc Minkowski , Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenobles Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 26.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenobles
  • Conductor: Marc Minkowski
  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Audio CD (19 July 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Naive Sa
  • ASIN: B0036FOV4W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,280 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Symphony No 96 in D major 'The Miracle'
2. Symphony No 95 in C minor
3. Symphony No 93 in D major
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No 94 in G major 'The Surprise'
2. Symphony No 98 in B flat minor
3. Symphony No 97 in C major
Disc: 3
1. Symphony No 99 in E flat major
2. Symphony No 100 in G major 'Military'
3. Symphony No 101 in D major 'The Clock'
Disc: 4
1. Symphony No 102 in B flat major
2. Symphony No 103 in E flat major 'Drumroll'
3. Symphony No 104 in D major 'London'

Product Description

Product Description

An exceptional and eagerly-awaited live recording of Haydn's 12 'London Symphonies' performed during a series of highly-acclaimed concerts in Vienna by Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble. The 'London Symphonies' on this four-CD set were recorded at performances given at the Wiener Konzerthaus in June, 2009. They caused great enthusiasm among audiences and critics alike: "an orchestra playing at its very best - the performances of Haydn were exemplary. Exhilarating!" (Wiener Zeitung, June 2009). These concerts by Marc Minkowski and his orchestra in Vienna were praised by the international press: "the performance was a real success, warmly acclaimed by the audience." (Kronenzeitung, June 2009). The recording has just been awarded a 'Diapason d'Or' by the French Magazine 'Diapason'. Marc Minkowski's Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, which he founded in 1982, is one of the most versatile, inventive and original ensembles currently active. The orchestra is particularly familiar with Haydn's work, having partly established its reputation with critically acclaimed interpretations of this repertoire. Minkowski's recording of the 'London Symphonies' is a significant contribution to the conductor's project to reinterpret symphonies and operas from the Baroque era right through to modern music. Personnel: Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, Marc Minkowski (conductor)

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haydn London Symphonies - Minkowski 27 Jan 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The reviewer must declare himself an incurable Haydn addict of many years.

This well-priced set, all live performances, is well worth collecting, albeit with a couple of serious reservations, which should be dealt with at the outset. Firstly, it is either an act of ignorance or supreme misjudgment not to have edited the 'Surprise' in the famous 2nd mvt of 94. Minkowski, his band (and no doubt the audience) have a bit of fun by creating new surpises of their own before eventually reverting to the score; one understands the point, and this might (just) be ok at a concert but it is a definite off-putter for repeated listening. A touch less worryingly the 'Drum Roll' of 103, although not annotated by Haydn, produces two half-minute cadenzas for timpani in the 1st mvt which again pall on repeated listening - and repeated listening is what recordings are all about.

That said, these are brisk, alert period performances which take few prisoners, boasting well sprung outer movements and a thrilling orchestral texture, even if the recordings are occasionally confused and the sound stage not always convincing. The tempo for the first mvt of 93 is often problematical; Minkowski is very brisk here - and it works. In 95 with its Sturm und Drang overtones he is broad and weighty to splendid effect. 96,97 and 99 are well judged and enjoyable - if perhaps that same electricity eludes 98 a little. Oddly, the percussion that characterises the famous 'Military' 100 is a little more restrained than the rest of the set would have suggested, although the work is handled well. 101 brings a top rate reading with a beautifully-judged tempo for the famous 'Clock' 2nd mvt - Minkowski ably demonstrating that period practice is not all about speed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent 3 Aug 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As live recordings these are very dramatic accounts of what these symphonies can sound like to imaginative ears and mind. Dynamic ranges are wide and swift tempi help to ensure Haydn's symphonic conceptions come across as being more volatile than dull, gray granite. Traditional accounts often place too much "subtlety" (instead of incisiveness) on the strings and lack colours and clarity in woodwind and especially brass /timpani sections. Minkowski's period instrument version does not disappoint in these departments beside packing plenty of fun in the playing. Those favouring a less dramatic approach and a more refined sound can get hold of Sigiwald Kuijken's complete recording without losing out on the benefits of hearing the music performed in (period) style.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sparkling haydn 10 Oct 2010
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
These are characterful performances of the great London symphonies. The surprise in the surprise symphony is restored albeit somewhat tastelessly; the drumroll in the drumroll symphony is less of a roll and more of a frolic. But these are the only eccentricities in the set which is proving to be even more enjoyable than the wonderful Colin Davis set on Philips. Tempi are generally very brisk in the quick movements but the slow movements are taken gently and are shaped with elegance.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Finally a complete set of London Symphonies on period instruments that fully captures the ebullience of Haydn's wit, well recorded (live recordings but with very little audience noise and applauses removed) and consistently performed. These are not versions that linger but press ahead always keeping the music afloat generating as they go lots of gutsy sounds. I find that modern orchestral versions (e.g. Dorati, Davis) tend to smooth over the rough edges of this music too much. There is none of the striking timpani that one gets here.

I do however have TWO MAJOR RESERVATIONS that spoil an otherwise exhilarating set. The first is the scream in the slow movement of the `Surprise' symphony. I can understand that this novelty in a live performance might be an equivalent surprise tactic in today's terms as Haydn's (now tame seeming) strike was in his day. But do I really want to hear a scream every time I listen the symphony!? For the purposes of CD and the repeated listening that it implies, this novelty is extremely irritating and should have been edited out! My other reservation concerns the extended drum sequence in the `Drum-Roll' symphony, surely not the brevity Haydn intended? Be that as it may, these hesitations are easily brushed aside given the consistent strength of the playing here. I certainly hope we will get a set of Paris Symphonies from these players. An absolute must!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What more do you want? 6 Nov 2011
By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A wonderful set. I have taken my review's title from the review that was titled "there's so much more to Haydn" because, well, it is something of a wonder to have a new set of London Symphonies which is so completely true in spirit to Haydn and yet so very different from what we have had before and so very fresh. I agree that others have given us great accounts of the London symphonies before, using the different performing styles that were in fashion in their time (most notably Beecham, Jochum and Davis), but this is for me by far the most successful set so far to use so called period performance. And this is because the spirit is there and the performances are fun as well as elegant and profound. So it joins the cream, the other great sets of these symphonies.
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