Haydn 'The Esterhazy Recordings' Symphonies Volume 2
This release completes the Nimbus Haydn Symphony Cycle; fourteen years in the making and comprising 32 compact discs. It is the first Haydn cycle to be recorded in digital sound specifically for CD.
|Review||"I heard a few pieces of Haydn when I was in junior high school and came to the unfortunate decision that he wasn't as interesting as Handel or Beethoven. At the time I had not given Mozart or Bach a listen beyond the old Columbia Masterworks recordings. Then, while selling audio equipment in the mid-1980s I discovered the Nimbus label. I was trying to collect Debussy and I had read a review of the Martin Jones Debussy recordings. I was impressed. And then I found other excellent recordings on that label. Which lead me to discover these Haydn Symphony recordings. I purchased a couple of these set and was impressed with the sound, but never really gave the discs a discerning listen they deserved. Then I discovered Naxos, which lead me to Jeno Jando's Complete Haydn Piano Sonata recordings. Which lead me to finish collecting these fine Nimbus sets. I listen on an audiophile system which shows up every nuance of the original recording without shaping or enhancing the sound. Adam Fisher and the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra deliver, to my ears, one of the most fabulous sets of Classical period recordings I've ever heard. I own complete sets of Mozart concertos and symphonies, Beethoven, Schubert and others. The performances by the orchestra are sensitive, nuanced, detailed, and tempos never rush, never drag. One of the main things that distinguish these recordings is the obvious cooperation and partnership between the conductor and the recording engineers. One of the things that every single Nimbus record shares is the amount of care that goes into capturing the acoustic temperment of performance venues. Hall, Cathedral, studio. What you get here is bite without brassiness or harshness. Perfect balance and equalization. You can actually hear the brass and the woodwinds. Many other recordings from this era are just drowning in reverb to the point that all you can make out is strings and tympani. One of the best performances on this set is the "Philosopher" Symphony 22. Rich. In Symphony 26, Mvmt 1, you can hear the bow hair hitting the strings, and a wide range of dynamics. No "just going though the motions" here. Fisher imbues each piece with lyricism and as much emotion as you're going to get with absolute music from this period. Though never soaked in sentiment, you get exciting and a lot of gorgeous, dare I say, lush treatments that are always a joy to listen to."- Kelvin Brown|