Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: Symphonies-No 57

Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: Symphonies-No 57

Article excerpt

Haydn

Symphonies--No 57 (a); No 67 (a); No 68 (b)

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra/Nicholas McGegan

Philharmonia Baroque [F] PBP08 (78' * DDD)

Recorded live at First Congregational Baptist Church, Berkeley, CA, USA, on (b) February 8-9, 2014; (a) October 11-12,2014

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Nicholas McGegan and his San Francisco-based forces delve into a trio of symphonies that have been largely neglected outside of complete cycles. They don't have the stark dramatics of Sturm und Drang to recommend them; and they are neither suitably early to demonstrate the seeds of future achievements nor suitably late to show mature mastery. Nevertheless, each is fascinating in its own way. Lighter in tone than certain symphonies of the preceding decade, No 57 (1774) features a slow movement that alternates plucked and bowed phrases, a Landler-like Minuet and a frenzied tarantella finale. No 67, from a year or two later, is possibly an assemblage of pieces of theatrical music, the Trio of its minuet deploying two solo violins, the second with its lower string tuned down a tone to provide a rustic drone. …

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