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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bright, alive and most rewarding
These performances have recently been criticised in some quarters as lacking in charm. I couldn't disagree more and have rarely been more baffled by the critical establishment! I have heard many versions of these symphonies and love Pinnock's so much more than any others. They are truly envigorating and sparkling, and Pinnock cunjures up a lovely sound world for Haydn...
Published on 9 Nov 2008 by enthusiast

versus
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diet Sturm und Drang
Reader, it does not come any more skeletonised than this: 5 / 4 / 2 / 2 / 1. That's the size of the English Concert's string section - it's not exactly the Legion Vast. It might be aligned with the orchestral array at Eszterháza - but what Haydn had to endure is one thing, what he ideally wanted is another. And when the double-bass player - yes, all one of them -...
Published 5 months ago by Bernard Michael O'Hanlon


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bright, alive and most rewarding, 9 Nov 2008
By 
enthusiast "enthusiast" (sussex, uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
These performances have recently been criticised in some quarters as lacking in charm. I couldn't disagree more and have rarely been more baffled by the critical establishment! I have heard many versions of these symphonies and love Pinnock's so much more than any others. They are truly envigorating and sparkling, and Pinnock cunjures up a lovely sound world for Haydn. They are in no way "driven" but they also avoid a tendency that many have to drag or indulge in overly formal rhythms in the minuet movements. Everyone I have played these records to - including many who would not think to explore "Haydn before the London Symphonies" - have fallen in love with them. And now, they are available at a price that is a real bargain. Buy this set!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ASTONISHINGLY FRESH, ORIGINAL, VITAL, 28 Jun 2001
This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
Excellent value, and excellent music - words can scarcely describe the sheer inventiveness, beauty and power of these revolutionary works! Lean, taut playing from the English Connert, unfussy and direct interpretations, and marvellous ensemble playing bring these incredible works to instant life. Sound quality is superb and the presentation - six discs in six envelopes in a plain card box - will surely be the norm in future for the serious collector.
This is the best value purchase I have made in years, and one of the most inspirational. Buy it!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Box of Delights, 12 Sep 2009
This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
In my opinion,this is the best box of Haydn on the market,surpassing Dorati(great as his is)in sound and performance,and collecting in a handy box the most interesting of the works--out of 104 symphonies,we have here 19--enough for the curious,but marvellous for the committed also.Period instruments are not to all tastes,but are in no way inferior to modern,at least here.Do yourself a favour,buy this...you'll never regret it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haydn at his most earth-shattering!, 23 July 2011
By 
Duncan R. McKeown "Mozartian" (Norwich, Norfolk UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
These recordings are the absolute pinnacle of Haydn symphony recordings on CD in my humble opinion. Why didn't Pinnock record the other early symphonies? Such a shame. Don't let anyone tell you that Haydn's best symphonies were his final twelve. I think the London Symphonies are marvellous, but for profundity of expression and sheer genius of originality, the 'Sturm und Drang' period is unsurpassed. Haydn owes nothing here to Mozart, as he did later...he was his own man, and what an artist! People who go on about the depth and humanity of Beethoven's last quartets, or the Saint Matthew Passion, ought to listen to the Andantino of Symphony No.42, or the Adagio of No. 44, and perhaps they would then value Joseph Haydn more highly. In symphonies like the 'Trauer' and the 'Farewell' Haydn creates a mood, and a sound picture, which is quite unique in my experience, both tragic...almost desolate...and dramatic at the same time. The spareness of the Esterhazy period orchestra only magnifies its emotional impact. Nothing I have ever heard in the classical repetoire affects me the same way as these works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly thrilling and uplifting music with performances to match. In a word - inspiring and on every level, 21 Feb 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
This period of Haydn's middle symphonies known as 'Sturm und Drang' symphonies has long been my favourite period of his symphonic output. They have a vitality and expressiveness which, no matter how more complex and sophisticated his later works undoubtedly become, is quite without equal in the later works.

Partly this is a matter of scale and the more chamber sized orchestras used at this time in Haydn's career and as heard here, which allow for more flexibility and more dynamic contrast. By this latter I mean the relative difference in scale which can be achieved between the feather-light pianissimos to the really punchy fortissimos. The same applies to the contrasts possible in terms of instrumental textures where all the variety of instrumental writing has an almost chamber music level of immediacy and impact. All of these things add up to 'Strum und Drang' and which become softened with the larger orchestras and larger scaled later compositional ideas. Contrast the relatively muted effect of the 'surprise' in the Surprise symphony and hear how more effective the punching out dramatic effects are in any of these middle works which make use of the high horns for example. It is in the use of the high horns that Pinnock is slightly more restrained than Bruno Weil with Tafelmusik. Preference on this point will be a matter of personal taste.

So much for personal enthusiasms. Pinnock obviously shares the same view, as these performances come alive as never before. The playing of the orchestra is beyond superlative and Pinnock's direction is inspirational. The recordings are of equal merit and allow the full splendour of these performances to really shine and leap off the discs. The only performances to come anywhere near these are those in the boxed set by Bruno Weil and the Tafelmusik and they are sadly incomplete with 15 of Pinnock's set of 19 duplicated. The missing symphonies are 26, 35, 38-9 and 59 and 64 is added in. On the plus side Weil also includes an excellent set of Paris Symphonies though and at a very budget price. The Weil set offers similar scaled performances but a little less restrained in terms of the horn playing especially.

I can only suggest that if this set of these wonderful symphonies is of interest to purchasers or to collectors, then they most certainly merit the most serious consideration possible. Also to be given serious consideration should be the Bruno Weil set which overlaps rather than duplicates as described above.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Haydn recordings., 24 Aug 2013
By 
P. Kelson (Gateshead, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
I heard one of the symphonies in this set on Radio 3, which prompted me to look up the disks on Amazon. Once I had read the reviews above I had to buy the set, even though I have other recordings of these works.. I am so glad I did. Everything that has been said about the brilliance of the performances and the quality of the works is true. I cannot imagine better performances. My enjoyment was enhanced by the excellent booklet containing notes on each symphony by Nicholas Kenyon.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Haydn, 12 July 2011
This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
I'm biased. I've been mad about Haydn's music for decades - and especially the Sturm und Drang period. Dorati's wonderful set of these symphonies got me interested in the first place. Since then I have come to regard the Trevor Pinnock set as quite simply the best recording of anything by anybody.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Haydn Seek No More, 7 Oct 2014
By 
Young Paul (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
What a set! I've owned this for over 5 years and it's still an utter delight. Supine admiration of Haydn assumed, I won't go on about the exquisitness of these works because I'm sure you already know or you wouldn't be here. If, somehow, you don't know, then this collection is a wonderful place to start! The playing and conducting is absolutely first class: expressive, perfectly timed and consistently tighter than a chicken's backside. In fact I've not heard a better ensemble. The recording is very well engineered: airy, detailed and with plenty of bite and depth. I only heard one minor glitch, but I'm not going to tell you where as you'll be distracted waiting for it. :-D An essential purchase.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 21 July 2009
This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
This set is superb value and offers very fine recordings of a selection of Haydn's symphonies. The playing is wonderful, crisp and full of energy. Haydn!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Among Haydn's Finest, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: Haydn: The 'Sturm und Drang' Symphonies (DG Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
This collection by the English Concert and conducted by Trevor Pinnock is a truly outstanding production - in my view, the finest available. Six discs in all and with informative accompanying notes, here is remarkable value for money!
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