Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Up to 70% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Voyage Shop now Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

17
4.7 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2001
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!
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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.
66 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2013
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2009
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2014
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2011
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.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 11 June 2015
It is ironic that a collection of symphonies bearing this title should be given such lightweight and underpowered performances. The strings are somewhat thin, and there is no depth to the orchestral sound, but though that contributes to the overall absence of heft it is not the biggest issue. Rhythmically it's all very bouncy, but therein lies the problem, there's no real phrasing. It's very stiff, and the music ends up in a somewhat annoying and metronomic prissiness. It's all on the surface, and combined with the equally bouncy, plinky plonk harpsichord that just never stops chirruping away you end up with something that just seems to me to ignore the depths of the music and miss the point a lot of the time. Sure the music is still great, and it's worth listening to, but these performances to my ears are rather passionless run-throughs according to some sort of standard period practice method. All the symphonies seem to get the same performance, just that the notes are different, and to me these recordings don't bear any comparison to other recordings I have of these symphonies. I don't want to take away from anyone's enjoyment of this set, but I really think there is much better Haydn on the market.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 25 May 2015
Nothing much to say about this 6 cd set that hasn't already been said.The performances by Trevor Pinnock's English Concert are simply outstanding and will delight any lover of 18th century orchestral music in general.Although some believe the later Paris and London symphonies to be the summit of Haydn's creativity i personally disagree with that.In my view Haydn was at the peak of his symphonic writing from the late 1760's to the mid 1770's where freshness and vitality were the order of the day as referenced by this terrific box set.The sturm und drang period offered turbulent,dramatic music that is full of bold harmonic shifts of which CPE Bach,Franz Beck and Joseph Haydn are probably it's best representatives.

These recording's were made in 1988/89 during what many feel to be the English Concert's golden era (c 1979 - early 1990's) and the sound engineering from DG is exemplary.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 31 March 2015
I already own the Decca London Symphonies conducted by Colin Davis and with this set which I absolutely love you have what might be called the fuller sound.

I am now the proud possessor of these "Sturm und Drang" symphonies by Trevor Pinnock which are played on traditional instruments and by a smaller traditional orchestra. I also love this box set. The sound is crisp and clean and the melodies constantly shine through. The whole listening experience is uplifting and refreshing and I cannot recommend this set highly enough. And what extraordinary value. Where else could one buy 19 (yes 19) excellent symphonies for this sort of price.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Handel: Concerti Grossi Op.3 & Op.6
Handel: Concerti Grossi Op.3 & Op.6 by Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner
£8.99


Mozart: The Symphonies (11 CDs)
Mozart: The Symphonies (11 CDs) by The English Concert and Trevor Pinnock
£33.59
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.