Milan Turkovic / Wiener Concert-Verein

Haydn: Symphonies No. 6 "Le Matin"; No. 85 "La Reine"; No. 97

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This Japanese release, recorded in Vienna with Austrian musicians, is intended as something of an introduction to Haydn's symphonies, with one piece, the early Symphony No. 6, "Le Matin," composed for the court at Esterháza; one, the Symphony No. 85, "La Reine," from Haydn's Paris series; and one, the Symphony No. 97 in C major, of the "London" symphonies. These are arbitrary divisions, and the disc omits the entire middle period of Haydn's output, but the three works make as good a collection as any for a start with his symphonies. The Wiener Concert-Verein is a small-group offshoot of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and the performances somewhat resemble those of that stalwart ensemble of the budget bins. The Symphony No. 6 is the most successful of the three, with unusual prominence given to the harpsichord, put to lovely use by Ingomar Rainer in the "Morning" effect that gives the work its name. The two later symphonies are straightforward and safe; they're technically accomplished, but somehow they lose the wit and excitement of Haydn's music. The engineering is superb, but the adventurous listener can find livelier performances. Notes are in Japanese and English, and, unlike other releases on the Camerata label, they appear to contain the same text.

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