Top positive review
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Haydn at his most earth-shattering!
on 23 July 2011
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.