Miah Persson / Bernard Richter / Manfred Huss / Haydn Sinfonietta Wien

Franz Joseph Haydn: Opera at Esterháza

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In its ongoing series of albums devoted to Haydn's music written for the Esterháza Palace, performed by Manfred Huss leading the Haydn Sinfonietta Wein, BIS has released a selection consisting mostly of insertion arias the composer wrote for productions of operas by his contemporaries, such as Cimarosa, Anfossi, Salieri, Gassmann, Sarti, and Traetta. There are also several arias from Haydn's own operas, his setting of a Petrarch sonnet, and three selections, including a men's trio from La Circe, an opera pasticcio. The two featured soloists, soprano Miah Persson and tenor Bernard Richter turn in superb performances that do full justice to the composer's genius, mostly for comedy, but also in a truly scary aria for Orestes. Persson's voice is sweet with a gleaming purity, she sings with a formidably assured technique, and she brings a developed dramatic sensibility to each of the arias. Richter has an ideal instrument for the Classical repertoire: light and agile, but substantial and full, capable of genuinely heroic tone when called for. He is also a first-rate comedian and fully inhabits the humorous roles, but he brings weight and menace to Orestes' grave aria. The other singers are in nowhere the same league and their brief contributions are negligible. Under Huss' sure leadership, the Haydn Sinfonietta Wein plays with an absolute grasp of the idiom and with great finesse and spirit. The sound of BIS' SACD is immaculate, clean, and natural. The disc makes a very strong case for Haydn as a dramatic composer and leaves the listener hoping that more releases will follow in the series.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 5:08
2 5:45
3 3:21
4 6:03
5 2:10
6 3:49
7 5:42
8 6:39
Il mondo della luna (third version), Hob. 28:7
9 4:58
10 5:56
11 4:08
12 7:40
13 10:06
blue highlight denotes track pick