Albums

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Violin Concertos - Released October 26, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
To say that the concerto was one of Haydn's favourite forms would be a bit much, daft even. The man wrote a good hundred symphonies, dozens of quartets, trios, piano sonatas, fifteen or so masses and as many operas, and oratorios... Currently we know of three violin concertos (others being lost or apocryphal), two cello concertos (others... see above), one horn concerto, one for trumpet (there are no others) and at most about ten concertos for piano. Musically, they are fascinating works, but the level of technical skill they demand runs from moderate to a bit tricky. But the First Cello Concerto is not without its moments of difficulty, such as the rapid high notes in the final movement, and it offers some real fireworks. It should also be noted that most of the concertos were written for Esterházy, specifically for the first soloists in the house orchestra of Konzertmeister Luigi Tomasini and first cellist Joseph Weigl. The orchestral accompaniments offered the soloists some fine backdrops: in particular in the second movement of the Concerto for violin in C Major , with the orchestra's string section accompanying the solo violin with a sort of lute-playing that becomes a kind of serenade à la Don Giovanni. Amandine Beyer takes up the violin for this recording, while Marco Ceccato deals with the cello solo – both members of the Gli Incogniti ensemble ("The Unknowns"), a fluid grouping that plays without a conductor. Their leaderless style means that the musicians all listen to one another: it's a lovely way of making music (and sadly rare in the world of orchestras). © SM/Qobuz
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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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Quartets - Released September 1, 2017 | naïve classique

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Quartets - Released March 17, 2017 | audite Musikproduktion

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonies - Released September 23, 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonies - Released February 19, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released May 1, 2013 | Brilliant Classics

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Trios - Released June 22, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Trios - Released November 17, 2014 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Cello Concertos - Released May 26, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Lieder (German) - Released April 7, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
Late in life, Franz Joseph Haydn made about 125 arrangements of Scottish songs for the publisher George Thomson. Thomson's project was an ongoing one in the 1790s and early 1800s; after a volume with arrangements by Scots composers sold well, Thomson was apparently inspired to commission more of the same from "name" composers like Haydn and later Beethoven, Hummel, and Weber. The results were more than purely financially motivated. The aged Haydn proclaimed in one of his submissions to Thomson that he was proud of his work, and Beethoven seems to have gone on to set a variety of national popular songs (the term "folk songs" is anachronistic here, for the materials were contemporary) without any commission at all. Haydn's are pretty regular in structure, with a strophic setting for a trio of piano, violin, and cello, and an instrumental introduction that neatly sets the mood and the pitch world for the song. It's easy to see why Haydn became intrigued by the project: within the severe constraints of the form, he introduces quite a variety of expressive touches, and he was obviously well coached on the meaning of the texts (or absorbed a great deal of English in the course of his travels to London), even those in Scots dialect. There is little to tell the listener that German tenor Werner Güra is anything other than a native English speaker, and he even does well with the Scots pieces (everything is translated into German and French in the CD booklet, and the Scots texts are heavily footnoted for English speakers). The interpretations by Güra and his trio of instrumental collaborators (keyboardist Christoph Berner plays a fortepiano) are probably ideal for these little pieces. Güra keeps the music to its proper small scale, and he gives the instrumentalists room to move and avoids the mechanical quality of earlier readings. There's nothing revelatory here, but for those interested in the development of Scottish song, or in hearing some of the last notes Haydn set to paper, this is a strong pick.
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Quartets - Released September 25, 2012 | La Dolce Volta

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released September 3, 2012 | Coro

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Solo Piano - 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.
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released October 6, 2009 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Exceptional sound
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Chamber Music - Released January 20, 2009 | harmonia mundi

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Sacred Oratorios - Released December 28, 2008 | Teldec

Distinctions Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Concertos - Released July 6, 1999 | Simax Classics