Haydn Symphonies Nos. 57, 67 & 68

Franz Joseph Haydn Symphonies Nos. 57, 67 & 68—Philharmonia Baroque/Nicholas McGegan (PBP 8)

This is the second disc this month featuring Nicholas McGegan and his Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (the other features Brahms Serenades). The three Haydn works here are really symphonic stepchildren; no catchy nicknames, no compelling backstory like that possessed by the ‘London’ Symphonies. These are products of the 1770s, when Haydn would write three to four new symphonies a year for the orchestra at Esterháza, his employer’s estate far from the musical centers of Europe. Haydn therefore was, as he said, “forced to become original.”  He did this by applying approaches from other genres like overtures or concertos to the symphony, exploiting unexpected harmonic relations and other devices of his own invention. Maestro McGegan makes a compelling case for these three strikingly original works from Haydn’s “laboratory years.”

Featured Thu 11/5, Mon 11/16, Wed 11/25

 

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