Hans Peter Ochsenhofer

Haydn: Symphony No. 83 "La poule"

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This Camerata album features an interesting program based on the premise that questions of authenticity of surrounded many of Haydn's works from the composer's lifetime straight up to present day. The disc opens with an Oboe Concerto in C major that was wrongfully attributed to Haydn, though the actual composer of the work is still not known. Second on the program is the D major Cello Concerto, which had questions surrounding its authorship but now retains its rightful place as one of Haydn's masterpieces. The program's finale is the G minor "La Poule" Symphony, one of the three "Paris" symphonies. At first, the inclusion of a work definitively not by Haydn may seem an unusual choice, but it's instructive to hear the facets of the concerto that are similar to Haydn's own writing but not quite as refined or elegant. The performances offered by the Wiener Mozartisten, cellist Robert Nagy, and oboist Martin Gabriel are all solid but tend to sound safe and unenergetic. The finale of the cello concerto and the menuet of the symphony are too relaxed where more forward momentum and energy are called for. Nagy's performance falls short on powerful, making his sound blend into the orchestra more than would be hoped for from the soloist. The enclosed liner notes are awkwardly translated.

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