Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: Symphonies-No 25

Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: Symphonies-No 25

Article excerpt


Symphonies--No 25; No 36; No 43, 'Mercury'

Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Fey

Hanssler Classic (F) CD98 012 (63' * DDD)

Twentieth disc in Fey's Heidelberg Haydn odyssey

Thomas Fey can always be relied upon to do something unpredictable as his Haydn symphony cycle reaches its 20th volume. The Mercury (No 43) is often considered to belong stylistically to the group of Sturm und Drang symphonies of the later 1760s and early 1770s, perhaps more for its general air of quirkiness than for sharing any outward hint of iconoclasm with, for example, Nos 39, 44 or 49. Surprisingly, Fey is less concerned with driving it hard and accentuating Haydn's characteristic nervy energy, taking the first movement more gently than in many other recordings (but still speeding up when the forte tutti kicks in). This performance is mostly let down, though, by a sound picture in which over-present winds and horns to some extent obscure the string-playing. …

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