5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Well worth the modest outlay,
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This review is from: Haydn: Symphonies Nos 88-92 (Audio CD)Is this really a five star or a one star pair of discs? Who is right? Reading the widely differing reviews here I wondered whether it was worth the modest outlay for yet a couple more Haydn symphony discs or not, but I'm pleased to say I'm glad I took the plunge. There aren't too many recordings of these four symphonies, and one more wasn't going to break the bank.
Its true that Thomas Fey with (mostly) modern instruments, and his crash bang wallop approach, is marginally livlier in number 88, but Kuijken's more direct and less interventionist approach is far preferable in the glorious No.90 with its brillliant alto horns, and the honorary 13th London symphony, namely No.92 the Oxford, where Fey is just too prissy for his own good.
The best thing I can say about Kuijken's petite bande is that it sounds like a proper orchestra. If you are allergic to some of the more radical, supposed authentic sounds of some period bands, with their out of tune extra terrestrial strings, then you have no worries here. The band produces sufficient weight for these big scale works when required and though less brazen than Fey, there is a suitable presence from brass and drums when required. If I say that these readings are "sensible" ones I mean that in a positive way, and don't mean to infer that they are in any way boring. They are quite the opposite in fact.
These performances are continuing to grow on me and I might come back later and up the rating to the full five stars.
This is well worth its very modest price tag. If only Kuijken's 93-104 could be bought for a sensible price.....I might be tempted to invest in my seventh set.
After listening to some of the competition I've just upped this from four to five stars.