Ian Page and The Mozartists continue their projected seven-volume recording series exploring Sturm und Drang, the 18th-century movement that swept through music and other art forms between the early 1760s and the early 1780s. Translated as “Storm and Stress”, this dramatic and ground-breaking style sought to evoke extremes of emotion and came to be associated with art, literature and music that aimed to shock the audience.
Ian Page’s critically-acclaimed recordings, including an ongoing series of Mozart’s operas, have largely featured operatic and vocal music. Now, reflecting the expansion of repertoire under his company’s new name, The Mozartists, this ambitious Sturm und Drang project is dominated by orchestral repertoire. It incorporates iconic opera, ballet and symphonies by Mozart, Gluck and, above all, Joseph Haydn, as well as including largely forgotten or neglected works by less familiar names such as Jommelli, Beck and Vanhal.
Volume 2 of the series features works composed between 1765 and 1770, beginning with Haydn’s dramatic Symphony No. 39 in G minor, one of the most vivid and influential works of the Sturm und Drang movement, and concluding with an uncharacteristically turbulent symphony in the same key by Johann Christian Bach (the so-called ‘London’ Bach). In between comes a fiery D minor symphony by Vanhal and a selection of arias by Gluck, Haydn and Mysliceček sung by the young Swedish mezzo-soprano Ida Ränzlöv.
Ian Page, Founder, conductor and Artistic Director of The Mozartists, writes: “Haydn’s Symphony No. 39 was the work that first introduced me to the Sturm und Drang repertoire as a student, and it remains a favourite work – especially its wonderful opening movement. The other two symphonies on this recording have been very enthusiastically received when we have performed them in concert, and the emotional depth and the coloristic range of this repertoire feels ideally suited to this orchestra. The counter-balancing vocal selection includes two well-loved arias from Gluck’s Paride ed Elena whose minor-key pathos is matched in the exquisite “Fac me vere” from Haydn’s unjustly neglected Stabat mater, and it was a great pleasure to work with Ida Ränzlöv, one of our current Associate Artists, on her first orchestral recording.”