Haydn: Symphonies Box set
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Christopher Hogwood's complete recordings of the Haydn symphonies on original instruments in a beautiful box of 32 cds. Includes symphonies 1-75, 94, 96, 100, 104, 107, 108.
Top Customer Reviews
There is clear attention to detail in authentic sound.
Recorded over many years, the Symphonies sound fabulous in the hands of Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music. There are the familiar symphonies of course, but also here we get to see the brilliance of the earlier works. All of the Symphonies are fantastic and this extensive set takes us through the works in correct order of composition. Even though the Symphony numbers do not run Chronologically. This is mainly down to publication of the compositions.
We get to see the progression of compositional style as we work our way through the recordings.
The attention to detail and the sound recording is excellent.
Each disc is in a light card sleeve,and all of the discs are housed in a smart card box that is about 2 and a half inches thick.
This is an ideal way to collect most but not all the Symphonies by Haydn and you cannot go wrong with this release. It is good value for money.
I'm sure listeners have different tastes in Haydn performance, but these are by and large absorbing performances, with fascinating sonority even if you are used to more turbo-charged playing in, for example, some of the Sturm und Drang examples. All repeats are taken, which means some slow movements in particular are very extended, the symphonies take up more discs than usual, and perhaps they lose some of their accepted character as shortish and fun as a result. Here many of them are as long or longer than most of the Beethoven symphonies and Hogwood forces us to hear them differently, whether we like it or not, as extended (and of course entertaining) artworks rather than as frothy entertainments, precursors of something more serious and elaborate.
The original issues included very interesting and detailed notes by James Webster that I don't think you'll get here. Perhaps the length and care going on in this project preclude some of the excitement you might get elsewhere, and there is some controversy over the forces used for the earlier symphonies (quite small, and some would prefer firmer bass-lines than this makes possible).Read more ›
The actual contents of the box are Symphonies Nos. 1-75, 94, 96, 100, 104, 107, and 108. It is a great shame that the project was never finished, but the 81 symphonies that are here are quite marvellous. Haydn was a truly great symphonic composer and in my view anyway his symphonies are at least the equal of those of Mozart. There is beauty, passion, tranquillity…you name it, it will be beautifully evoked here somewhere. And, of course, there is Haydn's wonderful wit and twinkle in the eye in abundance.
Hogwood and the AAM play brilliantly. They are a period ensemble, of course, which to me brings a freshness and glow to these works which suits them perfectly. Hogwood was a great conductor and his attention to detail and obvious love of these works produce something quite special, I think. There is always a danger with a large cycle of works that the artists slip into a slightly samey routine but I don't find any hint of that here. This is partly due to the recordings being made over a long period, widely spaced out, but chiefly because the musicians so obviously care about every single movement they play. As a result, I love this set.
The recorded sound is excellent. The notes in this box are a bit sketchy, but full notes are available on-line (thanks to Scratcher for that information and for the link: http://christermalmberg.se/files/pdf/musik/verkkommentarer/haydn_joseph_the_symphonies_volume_1-10.pdf)
It is largely a matter of personal taste whether or not you will feel the same.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a disappointment. Had sought for Haydn complete symphony, and found these, - that lack the best. I should obviously look better, before I bye - Yet. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful reissue. If only the later symphonies had been recorded !Published 8 months ago by Janet Misell
The music and performances are very fine, of course. I didn't realize that the box quality had been downgraded to ultra-flimsy and generic. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Allen Walzem
Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music have recorded a wonderful set of Haydn Symphonies. Read morePublished 19 months ago by markason
Fabulous playing throughout this cycle but this is NOT the completed symphonies as the project was cancelled :(Published 22 months ago by stephen
Beautiful music played wonderfully, no less than would be expected from Christopher Hogwood and the academy of Ancient Music. Bravo!Published on 10 Feb. 2014 by MRS FRANCES ANNE DARBY