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Haydn Paris Symphonies & Violin Concerto No. 1

Harmonia Mundi

Haydn: Paris Symphonies; Violin Concerto No. 1 -- Les Arts Florissants/William Christie (Harmonia Mundi 905371)

The six Paris symphonies of Joseph Haydn are outnumbered by his twelve later and better known works for London. In the mid-1780s, Parisians knew Haydn’s music thanks to Paris’ status as a hub for music publishing. The orchestra at the Loge Olympique was a large, first-rate ensemble, and Haydn must have relished the opportunity to write for such an group and perhaps spend some time away from his base at Esterházy. Conducted by Joseph Bologne the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, these symphonies were rapturously received by Parisian audiences and put a spotlight on the artistic excesses of the period leading up to the French Revolution three years later. Speaking of the French Revolution, the last Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, adored these symphonies and No. 85 was a personal favorite, earning the nickname La Reine. Four of the symphonies are stylishly rendered here by the talented Les Arts Florissants. These period instrument performances captured live in concert encourage even the most seasoned listener to appreciate these works anew. Also in this two-disc album is Haydn's rarely heard Violin Concerto No. 1 with rising star Théotime Langlois de Swarte as conductor and soloist.

Symphony No. 84 in E-flat Major
Symphony No. 85 in B-flat Major La Reine
Violin Concerto No. 1 in C Major
Symphony No. 86 in D Major
Symphony No. 87 in A Major