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Hyperion Records

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The Thames at Westminster by William James (1730-1780)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDS44371/4
Recording details: September 2007
Auditorio Stelio Molo, Lugano, Switzerland
Produced by Ben Connellan
Engineered by Michael Rast
Release date: February 2009
Total duration: 20 minutes 15 seconds

'The Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana is finely honed and the rapport is evident, with unfailingly fine and musicianly playing' (Gramophone)

'Performances of the symphonies that are ultra-clean, pleasingly joyous and straightforwardly entertaining' (Classic FM Magazine)

'The orchestra is very well caught by the engineers, with ample bloom and no unnecessary or false highlighting of instruments. There is an excellent booklet by the ever-reliable Haydn expert Richard Wigmore and, best of all, Hyperion are offering the set at budget price, a little over £20.00 for four discs. I also like the fact that the works are all laid out in numbered order across the discs, unlike Bruggen and Davis, where the sequence is split up for some reason. The Davis cycle is cheaper and still an obvious rival but the sound is not as rich or detailed, and the Bruggen appears unavailable at present. It is a very crowded market but I reckon Hyperion deserve to do well with this one' (MusicWeb International)

'Sa splendide intégrale des Londoniennes … ces interprétations dégagent une extraordinaire vitalité' (Le Monde de la Musique, France)

Symphony No 95 in C minor
first performed in the Hanover Square Rooms, London, in April or early May 1791

Allegro moderato  [6'23]
Finale: Vivace  [3'55]

Other recordings available for download
The Hanover Band, Roy Goodman (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
No 95 is the only ‘London’ symphony in the minor, and the only one without a slow introduction. For late-eighteenth-century listeners the minor mode implied a gravitas that made a solemn preamble superfluous. No 95’s stark unison ‘motto’ recalls Haydn’s previous C minor Symphony, No 78 of 1782, one of a trio of works written for an aborted London visit. As in the earlier work, the motto invites strenuous contrapuntal treatment. In No 95, though, Haydn is careful to cajole as well as challenge his audience, contrasting C minor severity with an ear-tickling second theme, charmingly adorned in the C major recapitulation with a violin solo for Salomon.

After a lilting theme-and-variations Andante in E flat that includes an expressive cello solo and a free minore episode, the minuet again juxtaposes C minor and major. The main section is by turns edgy and aggressive, while the untroubled C major trio features another, more extended, solo for cello. With the many solo passages, here and elsewhere in the first six London symphonies, Haydn endeared himself both to his audience and his orchestral principals. The sonata-rondo finale begins with a broad, serene C major melody, which Haydn then proceeds to work in an intricate display of counterpoint. With its polyphonic virtuosity and pealing C major splendour (darkened fleetingly by a stormy C minor outburst), the movement has provoked inevitable comparisons with Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony. Haydn may even have consciously modelled his far terser finale on Mozart’s.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009

Other albums featuring this work
'Haydn: Symphonies Nos 93-95' (CDH55126)
Haydn: Symphonies Nos 93-95
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55126  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Last few CD copies remaining  

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