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Haydn the master of melody.
on 29 August 2014
This is an ideal set for Birthday's or Christmas, for it is a box set that contains hidden jewels which we would never think of buying. There are no weaknesses in this Box set, for all the performances are good. Generally, these sets have weaknesses. I cannot see any, apart from the fact that a number of string Quartets and the Nelson mass are missing and a few other works. However, we get an over all picture of Haydn's music which is highly tuneful. I found this set by chance, because I wanted Haydn's complete symphonies. Fischer's version seemed the best, but was 60 pounds, and the Haydn Edition then 80 pounds, so I thought I may as well buy the complete set. (see my reviews below). I am extremely satisfied. A composer I now realize whose work is full of the most beautiful melodies you are likely to hear. Different to Mozart whose symphonies I own played by Hogwood. (see my review).
Who was Haydn? He was born in 1732, Lower Austria and died in Vienna 1809, after Napoleon had invaded that city. In 1761, he was in the employ of the Esterhazy's family for thirty years as first Kapellmeister, directing operas and instrumental music composed by himself. Haydn changed the course of music history, playing a major role in establishing music termed Classical. For had he not lived 19th century music would not have followed the course it did. While he did not invent the symphony, he turned it into what we recognise today. His style changed from the jovial and the lighthearted to pathos, so that Mozart could say: "He alone has the secret of making me smile, and touching me to the bottom of my soul".
Haydn virtually created the string Quartet as it suited his personality where he could express his feelings and his artistic requirements. His most popular composition was the Austrian national anthem, included in the quartet, opus 76, No 3. C.P.E Bach led him to the sonata and Mozart opened a new pathway for Haydn to travel, even though he was much more famous and older than Mozart. In his old age, Handel inspired him to write Masses and abandon the symphony and piano Sonata. Another influence was Croatian folk song. Haydn was possibly the first to be inspired by folk tunes and dances. Also, he took the light instrumental music loved by the Viennese and made it into a style that could express the deepest emotions in many of his works. Haydn's music inspired Mozart, Cherubini, Beethoven, who was his pupil and began the Romantic age of music; Schubert and Brahms. He went to England in 1791 and 1794 where he played the 12 London and Oxford symphonies, all written within a few years.
The thick light blue cardboard box with the Haydn Edition printed in dark blue, is almost as long as the Furtwangler Legacy box, with a long lid which opens up backwards. Inside under the lid are the 150 CD numbers and music to be played. Behind the box, the CD numbers, music and conductor, orchestra or group, all printed in dark blue against a light blue background. The Sleeves have Haydn Edition with music to be played, plus CD number. Behind, the CD number, track numbers, music and soloists, or orchestra and conductor. Date recorded and who the recording is licensed from, Decca, Nimbus, Vox and Hungaroton Classics. CD, the CD number, music to be played. The Sleeves and CDs are devided into different colours, but of the same tonal value. Hense, light blue, light green, orange,Emerald green, Violet,lime green, darkish blue and pink. The sound is ADD or DDD and is very good. There is included a CD rom with a booklet note, Joseph Haydn Craftsman and genius by Richard Wigmore. Sung texts of songs and Oratorios.
I shall go across the page with the music to be played, orchestra, conductor, group and a few comments from myself, plus the Penguin and Gramophone year Classical books.
SYMPHONIES NO 1-104: Austro-Hungarian Haydn orchestra cond Adam Fischer. Recorded for Nimbus over 14 years in the Esterhazy Palace where Haydn himself worked, 1987-2001. The very last Haydn Symphony box No's 21-39, recorded 2001-2002, plus symphonies A &B appeared just as the demise of that label was announced in 2002. The orchestra use period instrument technique with modern instruments. You can see Fischer becomes increasingly aware of the period style, with faster tempi for the slow movements and minuets, also the string instruments comes closer to that found in period orchestras. That development is noticed in the recordings made in 1994-5, especially those in the late No 40- 50s. Finales have all the wildness needed. Even in those early symphonies, recorded near the beginning of the project, the vigor and thrust of the Allegros is exhilarating. Throughout the series the virtuosity of individual players of carefully selected Austrian and Hungarian musicians fully matches Haydn at his most demanding, with soloists challenged to the limit by fast speeds. That is why I bought the box set, and yet I own Weil and Kuijken's recordings of some of the Haydn symphonies. For Fischer can be compared favourably to these two conductors. One has only to hear the Symphony No 38 Movement 1, Allegro Molto to see what I mean. NO 24. Adagio with the flute playing sums up Haydn's art. " Beauty has no name, for how can we explain the unknown "-T.
PIANO CONCERTO's: Nos 3, 4 & 11: Jolanda Violante- fortepiano. L'Arte dell' Arco. Federico Guglielmo. Period instruments. VIOLIN CONCERTO'S: Nos 1, 3 & 4. Federico Guglielmo Violin 1757. L'Arte dell'Arco period instruments. Excellent. ORGAN CONCERTO's 1, 2 & 5, 7,8 & 10. Anton Holzapfel organ. Ensemble Dolce Risonanza period instruments. Florian Wieninger. TRUMPET CONCERTO in E flat. Alan Stringer-trumpet.His is a forthright, open tone. Academy of St Martin in the Fields cond Marriner. HORN CONCERTO no 1 & 2. Hermann Baumann- horn. Academy of St Martin in the Fields cond Iona Brown. CELLO CONCERTO's No 1 & 2. Christine Walevska Cello.She presents the concerto's freshly and is well partnered by the ECO and the conductor. English Chamber Orch cond Edo de Waart.There is a chamberlike quality to the music making, and the solo playing is not without personality. LIRA CONCERTO 1-5. Hugo Ruf. Lira, chamber Ensemble. The Lira was a cross between a hurdy-gurdy and a mechanical cello. This instrument was a favourite of its time. In this recording a modern electronic Lira is used. The drone like string notes are played by the orchestra. This recording is very entertaining.
MISSA "In TEMPORE BELLI" (Paukenmesse): Elisabeth Thomann soprano. Gertrude Jahn contralto. Stafford Wing tenor. Eishi Kawamura Bass. Vienna Chamber Choir and Orch. Hans Gillesberger. MISSA SANCTA NICOLAI: Krisztina Laki soprano. Hilke Helling Contralto. Aldo Baldin Tenor. Gerhard Faulstich bass. Kammerchor Stuttgart. Wuttemburg Kammerorchester Hellbronn. Frieder Bernius. HARMONIEMESSE: Maja Roodveldt soprano. Corrie Pronk contralto. Andreas Gisler tenor. Marc Pantus Bass. Choir and Orch of the Netherlands Bach Ensemble Krijn Koetsveld. MISSA CELLENIS: Krisztina Laki soprano. Hilke Helling contralto. Aldo Baldin tenor. Gerhard Faulstich. Kammerchor Stuttgart. Wurttemberg Kammerorchester Heilbronn. Frieder Bernius. MISSA SANCTAE CAECILLAE: Laki soprano. Helling alto. Baldin tenor. Hans-Georg Ahrens bass. Kammerchor Stuttgart. Wurttemburg Kammerorchester Hellbronn. frieder Bernius. GROSE ORGELMESSE. SALVE REGINA in G. MISSA BREVIS in F. SALVE REGINA in E FLAT: Laki soprano. Julia Hamari soprano. Hildegard Laurich contralto. Baldin Tenor. Richard Anlauf Bass. Ross organ. Kammerchor Stuttgart. Wurtemberg Kammerorchester Hellbronn. Frieder Bernius. STABAT MATER: Laki soprano. Hamari contralto. Claes Ahnsjo tenor. Anlauf Bass. Stuttgart Chamber Chorus. Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra. Frieder Bernius. The grandson of Nikolaus Esterhazy, Nikolaus the second, did not like instrumental music, so Haydn wrote a series of masses. Beautiful with marvelous melodies, with Singers you have probably never heard of. In fact, these recorded masses are the equal of the great recordings of these works. Well played and sung.
ORATORIO'S: THE SEASONS: Helen Donath soprano. Adalbert Kraus tenor. Kurt Widmer Bass. Suddentsches Madrigalchor. Orchestra der Ludwigsburger Festspiele. Wolfgang Gonnenwein. Wonderfully sung. THE CREATION: Helen Donath. Krauss tenor. Widmer Bass. Il RITORNO DI TOBIA: Veronika Kincses soprano. Magda Kalmar soprano. Klara Takacs contralto. Attila Fulop tenor. Zsolt Bende baritone. Budapest Madrigal choir, Hungarian state Orch. Frenc Szekeres. This is a oratorio you have probably never heard of. It has long arias with delightful and emotional melodies with a strong cast. When you come across jewels such as this oratorio, it makes you glad you own the box set. Swift tempi. DIE SIEBEN LETZTEN WORTE: Petra Labitzke soprano. Gabriele Wunderer contralto. Daniel Sans tenor. Christof Fischesser Bass. Chamber choir of Europe. Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim. Nicol Matt. Also, a piano rendition.
OPERAS: LA VERA COSTANZA: Ingrid Kappelle soprano. Ellen van Haaren soprano. Maja Roodvelt soprano. Albert Bonnema Tenor. Frank Fritschy tenor. Rein Kolpa tenor. Julian Hartmann bass. Catharijne Consort Frank van Koten. DIE FEUERBRUNST: Tom Sol Baritone. Rein Kolpa tenor. Frank van Aken tenor. Jorine Samson soprano. Corinne Romijn Contralto/ Mezzo. Esterhazy Orchestra. Frank van Koten. About a shipwreck and a secret marriage.The workers inspire sympathy while the aristocrats come in for something not far of ridicule. Haydns sharpness of invention never lets one down. A delectable performance. La FEDELTA PREMIATA:(LIVE) Ellen Van Haaren soprano. Majz Roodveldt. Ester Beens soprano. Xenia Meijer contralto. Patrick Henckens tenor. Frank Fritschy tenor. Tom Sol baritone. Julian Hartmann. Esterhazy chorus and Orchestra. Frank van Koten. This opera shows the composer on his finest form. Haydn was sending up classical conventions with tongue firmly in cheek. L'INFEDELTA DELUSA: Magda Kalmar soprano. Julia Paszhy soprano. Istvan Rozos Tenor tenor. Attla Fulop tenor. Jozsef Gregor bass. Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra Budapest. Frigyes Sandor. A rustic comedy with one jolly number after another.There are striking instrumental effects. Obviously some of the operas are missing, but you get a taste of Haydn's operas, which would have been better known but for Mozart.
SCOTTISH SONGS FOR GEORGE THOMSON 1-7. WELSH SONGS for GEORGE THOMSON 1-3. He wrote the English poem the Seasons on which the oratorio is based. He was one of England's first poets to deal with Nature in the lyrical manner of the later Romantics. Naturally, the Seasons reflects Haydn's deep love of Nature.
For example, The songs are such as the following, the wee, wee man. Thro' the wood laddie. The old highland laddie, Willie was a wanton wag, and so forth. Haydn shows that life is good. His folksong arrangements are the unexpected joyous work of old age. He came to it via collector and publisher George Thomson of Edinburgh. His compositions were so successful that competitors became interested. His output was at a high standard but maintained with a remarkable freshness and invention. What is amazing is that the instrumental composing suits the Scottish songs, and Haydn captures the Scottish and Welsh spirit. After all he was Austrian. Haydn also wrote SCOTTISH songs for rival publisher WILLIAM WHYTE 1-3 and WILLIAM NAPIER 1-5. Yet we must never forget that the words are in the folk tradition. The singers Lorna Anderson soprano and Jamie MacDougall tenor are ideally suited to their task. The Instrumentalists are lively and stylish in their playing. Haydn trio Eisenstadt. Piano Harald Kosik piano. Verena Stourzh violin. Hannes Gradwohl cello. The performances are consistent. These CD's of Scottish and Welsh songs are worth the price of this box set alone. You end up whistling to the tunes. For me it is an amazing find. Recorded 2003-2008.
SONGS: One of the consequences of Haydn's two visits to England was the completion of two sets of songs to English lyrics. The most famous being A Pastoral song and She never told her love, text from Shakespeares Twelfth Night. Also German songs. Elly Ameling soprano and Jorg Demus at their best. Ameling is one of the great Lieder singers.
STRING QUARTETS: Op 9.Nos 2,5,&6. Op 33. Nos 1,2 & 5. Op 9. Nos 1, 3 & 4. Die Sieben Letzten worte string quartet version. Op 33. Nos 3, 4 & 6 and op 42. Op 77 Nos 1 & 2 and Op 105. Op 71. Nos 1-3. op 74. Nos 1-3. Op 20. Nos 2,5, & 6. OP 20. Nos 1,3 &4. Op 1. Nos 1-4. Op 1. O & 6 & Op 2 No 1. Op 2. Nos 2,4 &6. Op 17 Nos 1, 2 &4. Op 17 Nos 3,5 &6. Op 64 Nos 1-3. OP 64 Nos 4-6. Op Nos 1-3. Op 55 Nos 1-3. Op 76 Nos 1-3. Buchberger Quartet.
PIANO TRIOS: HOB XV 10 CDs. Van Swieten Trio. Bart van Oort firtepiano. Remy Baudet violin. Jaap ter Linden cello.
BARYTON TRIOS. 20 CDs Esterhazy Ensemble. Michael Brussing -Baryton. Andras Bolyki Viola. Maria Andrasfalvy- Brussing -Cello. Also, Baryton Octets. Prince Esterhazy was fond of the baryton, whose delicate sonorities appealed to him. The Penguin guide 2008 explains it this way "The baryton is a kind of viola da gamba, with a broadened neck, behind which there is a harp- the metal harp strings are exposed within the open-box-like back of the neck so that they may be plucked by the thumb of the left hand." These are most beguiling performances, which have subtlety and finesse, and the music itself is consistently inventive and attractive. Another jewel in this box set. WORKS FOR LUTE AND STRINGS: Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble. CONCERTINI AND DIVERTIMENTI FOR PIANO TRIO 1. Haydn Trio Eisenstadt. VIOLIN SONATAS op 23: Six sonatas. Duo Ongarese.
PIANO SONATAS: 10 CDs. Bart van Oort fortepiano-period instrument. KLAVIERSTUCKE VARIATIONS: Includes Four variations on" Gott erhalte " in G. The famous Austrian Anthem. KLAVIERSTUCKE MENUETS & MARCHES. DIE SIEBEN LETZEN WORTE Fortepiano version. CD -ROM with booklet note and sung texts.
I hope you enjoy this Haydn box set as much as I have.