Vol. 16 in Hänssler Classics' complete symphonies of Franz Joseph Haydn has two late, great works: the Symphony No. 90 in C major, and the Symphony No. 92 in G major, "Oxford." Under the direction of period style proponent Thomas Fey, the Heidelberger Sinfoniker follows historically informed practices for performances of Classical repertoire, so the strings have the characteristic vibrato-less aural sheen, the woodwinds have the expected antique coloration, and the brass and timpani are incisive and distinctive in accentuation. Because the timbres are so true to the time period, the unusual effects and combinations that Haydn placed in these pieces, particularly in the slow movements, really come off effectively on the strength of the distinctive tonal production. Fey and his orchestra have become well-known through recording this ambitious cycle, which has been many years in the making, and which sets a standard for contemporary listeners, much as Antal Doráti's admirable Haydn recordings did for the previous generation. Hänssler's reproduction is exceptional, so the instruments have absolute clarity, depth, and presence in an open and resonant space.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 90 in C major, Hob. 1:90|
|Symphony No. 92 in G major, Hob. 1:92 "Oxford"|