Originally published on April 25
A lively start – dynamic and detailed (not least crisp timpani; fortissimo–diminuendo to start 103), with some ‘period’ leaning carried off with style (antiphonal violins, left-positioned basses) – to Paavo Järvi & DKAM’s survey of Haydn’s ‘London’ Symphonies (93-104) – swift speeds (including Minuets, danceable though), never rushed, always shapely, played with agility and dedicated smiling togetherness, exploiting as much wit as gravitas from this timeless music, and a sense of exuberant occasion throughout captured in excellent sound (December 2019). One caveat though: the next release is 2024 and if it’s to be two Symphonies per disc (three would have fitted the current one) this is going to be a long haul. More and sooner please. Bubbly and searching in equal measure (although I wouldn’t want to be without the different views of, say, Karajan, Berlin/DG, or Slatkin, also RCA, Philharmonia Orchestra), ‘Clock’ & ‘Drum Roll’ are on RCA Red Seal 19658807412, released on April 28. Joyous!
When was the last time a Haydn symphony was performed in London?
Well there was an unplanned Symphony at the Proms last year, put in at the last moment in a change of programme. This year’s Proms choice of how many Haydn Symphonies to play, is, as a recent publication points out, strongly influenced by the Welsh village featured in Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood – Llareggub.