Claudio Abbado / Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Haydn: 7 London Symphonies [Box Set]

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This four-disc set featuring Claudio Abbado and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe performing seven of Haydn's symphonies, an opera overture, and the Sinfonia concertante collects all Abbado's excellent Haydn recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and is also a sad reminder of how much was lost when that company didn't record more of the composer's work with the great Italian conductor. Like his readings of works by Mozart and Beethoven, Abbado's performances of Haydn are crisp, clean, direct, and unaffected. They are also wonderfully expressive without being sentimental, propulsive without feeling rushed, and ideally balanced between line and harmony. Haydn is not treated either as a rustic Mozart or a puny Beethoven, but with the respect, honor, and affection he deserves as a strong-willed, clear-eyed composer with a delicious sense of humor and a deep and abiding sense of humanity. All the performances, from the agile "Miracle" Symphony to the magisterial "Military" Symphony," are hugely impressive. The digital sound is clear, colorful, and vivid.

blue highlight denotes track pick