As with the other discs in this partial cycle on Hyperion, Goodman's Haydn recordings with the Hanover Band are lively and not afraid to get a little rough, and sometimes with surprisingly slow tempi for HIP performances. The problem with this style in the "Paris" set is that it has much fiercer competition than their very welcome recordings of the Sturm und Drang symphonies. Compared to many peoples HIP favourite Kuijken, these recordings not only (intentionally) lack the finesse of that rival, but are also less successful musically in these more developed works - the slightly scrappy ensemble is obvious when played alongside Kuijken, and the free-wheeling bravado which advocated the earlier symphonies very well feels a little one-dimensional in these works.
This is not to say that this disc has no appeal - a fan of Goodman's recordings of the earlier symphonies will find much to enjoy in these works. The percussion in the "Bear" symphony is fun, a little like Harnoncourt's frequent timpani surprises, and the harpsichord continuo is as prominent as usual. Hogwood has a similarly earthy style to Goodman, but I must admit, also a better orchestra. It will please many who have heard Goodman's recordings on Nimbus to know that the very strange acoustics in his recordings on that label are not replicated by Hyperion - the sound is clear and eminently listenable.