Friday, June 11, 2004

Haydn's Symphonies

I am applying a little of my residual compulsion to listening the complete 106 or so symphonies of Joseph Haydn in order of numbering (which is not the order of composition by any means). These are the famous 1960s/70s recordings made by Antal Dorati and his wonderful orchestra of Hungarian expatriates. At this point I am up to No. 42, and entering the 'sturm und drang' phase. I am familiar with many of these symphonies already, but hearing them en masse, rather than reducing their individuality, actually enhances it. The level of musical invention and emotional depth here is simply breathtaking - it is not for nothing that I regard Haydn as the greatest of the Classical composers.

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