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Beautifully Played16 juin 2014
David A. Wend
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This is the first volume in the Academy of Ancient Music - Christopher Hogwood complete recordings of the Haydn symphonies (a series of 15 volumes that was discontinued before completed). The opening set encompasses the early symphonies composed ca. 1757 - 60 and consists of numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 11, 18, 27, 32, 37 and 107. The dating of Haydn's early symphonies is problematic due to the lack of original manuscripts and documentation about their performance. Two of the symphonies in this group show Haydn experimenting with the symphonic form by including an opening Adagio for symphonies 5 and 11.
Many of the symphonies are in three movements, following the fast-slow-fast of the Italian Sinfonia with the more traditional four movements coming with symphonies 5, 11, 32 and 37. The Symphony 107 is actually an early symphony, in three movements, that was published in the 1950s. The performances do not have a continuo as there is no evidence from autograph scores that Hayden used a keyboard instrument in his symphonies. The performances by the Academy of Ancient music are superb and beautifully recorded. The booklet accompanying the set is very informative and well-written. I you have an interest in the symphonies of Joseph Haydn; this set is a perfect addition to your music library.
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"And so the money which to some extent may have saved the situation is spent on various means for bringing about self oblivion"14 avril 2014
Bernard Michael O'Hanlon
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Having weathered a raucous meeting of the Australian Knappertsbusch Association - it bears resemblance to the Carnival of the Animals - I was about to retire for the night when there was a knock on the door. I opened it warily. Much to my surprise, a congenial-looking gentleman was standing before me. His attire was odd: it bespoke the days of yore.
"Dear Sir, allow me to introduce myself," he said in a Slavic accent. "My name is Paul Ivanovitch Chichikov. You have something that I want!"
"You're not here to join the Australian Knappertsbusch Association!" I growled. "It has enough shady buggers as it is!"
He looked confused and rightly so.
"There must be a misunderstanding," he said haltingly. "I do not want to join such an organisation. It sounds like the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League! One purpose brings me here. I collect Dead Souls! You have serfs, yes? Some are dead?"
I scratched my head.
"Mate, I dunno know about serfs but there's plenty of cashed-up bogans in the neighbourhood. They're driving me mad. If you can decimate their number, all well and good! Tow `em away!"
He looked more confused.
"I don't want bogans or live serfs. I want Dead Souls!"
"Look mate . . . . . I gave at the office. I don't have any more Dead Souls left! What's a man to do?"
He stood there sullenly.
"No, no, no - I must have Dead Souls. They are here. I can feel them. Sign them over to me! I will look after them! There's no liability for you!"
The bugger was going nowhere. A thought came to me. I darted into my study and returned soon afterwards with an item in hand.
"Sunshine, here you go - they don't come any more dead than this - and to be honest, I can't say whether it ever had a soul to its name! This is Volume 1 of Corporal Hogwood's abortive survey of Haydn's Symphonies. This music - with the exception of the first movement of the Fifth Symphony - is of marginal interest. It needs grace and pizzazz in order to respire. It receives no such treatment from Corporal Hogwood who mechanically plods his way through this music like a metronome; endless repeats are observed with no variance therein; nor is a continuo at hand to enliven the music. Where is the imagination, I ask? There's none. Bloopers-wise, the Academy of Ancient Music is less felonious than usual - but that does not make it memorable in its own right: the usual mannerisms are in play from this near-skeletal band. The performance of the Tenth Symphony is representative of the wider endeavour in its sterility and reticence."
I drew a breath before resuming.
"Not that you care, but Roy Goodman cover the same ground with greater animation and panache; Dorati is highly listenable in these early symphonies too - and his Decca recording is less opaque than usual."
I handed over the box. Chichikov stared at it quizzically.
"Your quest ends here," I summarised. "You came looking for Dead Souls; this is a veritable underworld! Keep this, brother! May it serve you well."
Chichikov was lost. I was not going to help him any further. We left it at that. He wandered off into the night with his artefact of death. May the cashed-up bogans have mercy on him.