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Classical - Released October 11, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Qobuzissime
Six quartets: six works that are key to understanding what Joseph Haydn brought to western music. This effort by the Quatuor Hanson is particularly successful because they are past masters in constructing and expressing the soul of this subtle art. And what's more, they bring it off with a fascinating level of instrumental skill. Listening to this piece, we have to bow down once again before the genius of a composer who, along with Boccherini, invented a new genre and immediately studded it with masterpieces of staggering quality. Judiciously picked out from among Haydn's vast corpus, these six quartets are touching both in their expressiveness and in the perfection of their writing. Not a single note out of place, a perfect balance of four voices and inspired right from the first moment up to the incomplete closing Opus 77, which was a contemporary of Beethoven's first Quartets, Op. 18 – works that betray the lessons their writer learned from his master. More than two hundred years after his death, Haydn has only just found recognition as one of the greats, although he had been accorded that status during his life. But his works for keyboards, the symphonies, the oratorios, and to a lesser extent, the operas, speak in his favour. More than a forerunner, Haydn is a founder, a genius whose influence was felt by those who came after him, foremost amongst whom Beethoven and Schubert. This splendid album puts him (back) in his rightful place. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 30, 2010 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
Perhaps one of classical music's least noted but most important stories of the new millennium has been the profusion of recordings of Haydn's keyboard sonatas, each as different from the others as are the major schools of playing Beethoven, if not more so. Part of the reason for the variety is that, as French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet points out here, Haydn's manuscripts contained very little in the way of interpretive markings, leaving the field open for future performers and editors. Bavouzet, operating in the sonically superb environment of Suffolk, England's Potton Hall and playing a modern Yamaha, nevertheless adopts the fruits of historical research in his approach. He takes the repeats and heavily ornaments them, without, however, drawing attention to himself in the process. More generally, his tone is clean, very quiet, and rather harpsichord-like. In the slow movements of these four middle-period sonatas he's low-key indeed, but his playing holds up under attentive listening; his playing successfully draws the listener into an intimate space. Bavouzet's readings generally have the sort of Haydn X factor that leaves the listener completely unsure of what's coming next. Strongly recommended and whets the appetite for other albums in the occasional series that Bavouzet promises is coming. © TiVo
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Secular Vocal Music - Released April 8, 2014 | Phi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released April 2, 2013 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Pianiste Maestro - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released March 24, 2017 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica
The Gabrieli Consort continue their series of award-winning collaborations with the National Forum of Music, Wrocław, Poland with a new recording of Haydn’s great oratorio The Seasons. Using a new performing edition by Paul McCreesh this recording is the first to feature the large orchestral forces that Haydn originally called for, including a string section of 60, 8 horns and a choir of 70. The disc features solo performances from British singers Carolyn Sampson, Jeremy Ovenden and Andrew Foster-Williams.
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Classical - Released September 4, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released April 8, 2014 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
Although it is played on a period instrument, no one is arguing that this recording of Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Christ is historically authentic. The work, exceptionally in Haydn's output, exists in multiple versions, for orchestra, string quartet, chorus, and keyboard (either fortepiano or harpsichord). But surely Haydn did not have the instrument heard here, the rare tangent piano, in his head. This was, speaking roughly, a piano-harpsichord hybrid that never really found its footing in the late 18th century. As long as listeners are down with the idea of a fairly speculative recording, the effect of the tangent piano in this particular work is electrifying. Lubimov gets the best of both worlds: the intimacy of the keyboard version and the dynamic contrasts and timbral shadings of the orchestral original. The keyboard transcription is not by Haydn himself but was made in his own time, and he approved it. Lubimov works from this, tweaking it and adding contrasts that break up the seven consecutive slow movements and give them an extraordinarily expressive quality. Even when listeners know it's coming, the final Terremoto movement, depicting the earthquake following Christ's crucifixion, comes as a shock. Listeners will never hear the work quite the same way again after experiencing this recording, and even if Haydn didn't intend it this way, most may well end up wishing he had. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 1, 1998 | INA Mémoire vive

Distinctions Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - 4F de Télérama
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Symphonies - Released April 21, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released May 17, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released August 19, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Solo Piano - Released July 6, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released May 26, 2011 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 29, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released September 14, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released July 15, 2013 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released November 27, 2007 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc du Monde de la Musique
Arguably, Haydn's best opera isn't an opera at all. The oratorio Il ritorno di Tobia, Hob. 21/1, composed in 1775 and recorded here with two choruses added in 1784, is putatively a sacred work, drawing on the biblical (at least for Catholics and the Orthodox) Book of Tobit. But the narrative, featuring the return of a prodigal son, a fish-liver cure for blindness, a grieving mother and wife, and a disguised angel who ascends into heaven midway through, is a dramatic whole, full of tension and passionate arias, not a group of expected set pieces. The work clocks in at nearly three hours, which consigned it to the dustbin from its time until ours, and the present box is one of just a few contemporary performances. It's very nicely done. Much of the most spectacular vocal writing goes to the disguised Raphael, a pants role for soprano, and the marvelous Roberta Invernizzi is impressively athletic. Bass Nikolay Borchev as the blind father Tobit is also strong, with quietly sad arias unlike almost anything else in Haydn's output. The Capella Augustina under Andreas Spering keeps the energy level high throughout this large work. Negatives include residence on the flat side of the pitch from alto Ann Hallenberg as Tobit's wife Anna, surprisingly boxy studio sound from the Cologne offices of Deutschlandfunk, and the absence of libretto text in any language other than Italian. Translations would seem to be of paramount importance in introducing an unfamiliar work, and in a three-CD box there is plenty of room for a few extra pages in the booklet. The action is nonetheless intelligible to non-Italophones with the help of a detailed synopsis in the booklet commentary, and lovers of the two great oratorios from the end of Haydn's life can turn with confidence to this recording of a work from the composer's underappreciated middle period. The recording may well stimulate others by top-level vocal stars, and it convinces you that the music is strong enough to stand up to such a thing. The libretto, incidentally, is by Giovanni Gastone Boccherini, brother of the composer Luigi Boccherini. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 13, 2014 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released October 2, 2012 | Accent

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Haydn's three "daypart" symphonies were composed in 1761, early in the composer's employ at Esterháza castle. They are not heavily programmatic works, with only brief passages in each one suggesting, respectively, morning, noon, and evening. Historical performance techniques for symphonies of this period are hotly debated, with little definitive evidence supporting any particular solution. The early symphony has strong links to small-ensemble works like the divertimento, and veteran Dutch historical-performance specialist Sigiswald Kuijken and his group La Petite Bande seem to rely on that fact with their deployment of the 14-player orchestra heard here. It makes a certain degree of sense, and Kuijken does well by eliminating the harpsichord continuo. But clearly by the time of the Symphony No. 45 in F sharp minor ("Farewell") the orchestra had bulked up considerably, and there's a strong case to be made for a somewhat larger group in Haydn's symphonies of the early 1760s. That's especially true for these three works, whose most distinctive characteristic is a profusion of solo passages for the winds and even for the double bass. Those hark back to the Baroque concerto grosso with the alternation of small and large groups of players. Here, with just one viola, cello, and bass (each violin part has two players), the contrast is lost, and the music seems rather shapeless despite precise playing from the musicians of La Petite Bande. Your mileage may vary, and there may yet come a time when Kuijken's approach is shown to be the right one. But buyers at present should compare closely with recordings of these works by the Heidelberger Sinfoniker under Thomas Fey, or the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, which uses a larger string section and, for many, will bring the music alive more effectively. © TiVo