Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: 'Complete Symphonies, Vol 22'

Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: 'Complete Symphonies, Vol 22'

Article excerpt

Haydn 'Complete Symphonies, Vol 22' Symphonies--No 98; No 103, 'DrumroU' Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Fey Hanssler Classic [F] CD98 031 (59' * DDD)

Well over halfway through his cycle by now, Thomas Fey alights on two 'London' Symphonies, one from each of Haydn's visits to the British capital. And while there may be less that's new to say in these ever-popular later works than in some of the less well-known earlier ones, it remains clear that Fey has thought carefully about (nearly) every note and phrase. It's whether you the listener respond positively or negatively to his ideas and solutions that can often be the rub in his recordings.

Fey's teachers, Bernstein and Harnoncourt, are perhaps the yin and yang of Haydn performance but their influence combines in readings that push for maximum individuality. So expect highly inflected phrasing, brash brass and elongated pauses; notice also how the brass- (and bass-) heavy sound picture underlines an almost Beethovenian impulse to the symphonic conception of No 98's first movement. The slow movement, too, is swifter, Fey relishing the motivic working of the piece in preference to any sentimental notion that it was written on Haydn's learning of Mozart's death. …

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