C0069. ADAM FISCHER Cond. Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra: The complete 104 symphonies by Franz Joseph Haydn. (Netherlands) 33-Brilliant 99925, in Boxed Set. Final ever-so-slightly used Copy; CDs are as New; Only front of booklet has minor tape residue from rubber band. - 5028421999258
"Performed by the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra conducted by Adam Fischer. This orchestra was especially formed for these recordings by first-desk players from the Wiener Philharmonic and the Hungarian State Orchestra. These players maintain the unique Central European performing practice. It is difficult to describe this practice: it is a natural flow of ritardandi, rhythmical deviations and accents, which make the music come alive and reveal its innate dramatic quality.
Played on modern instruments. Why? because the players come from the big and the best symphonic orchestras, and are used to their instruments. Moreover, the players perform in a living tradition, and have developed their own musical language.
Each symphony was recorded in the magnificent Haydnsaal of the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, where Haydn actually worked as a Kapellmeister, giving this project an unique authentic feeling.
Originally recorded for Nimbus (until the label's eventual bankruptcy in 2001) over the dozen or so years in the Haydnsaal of the Esterházy Palace in Hungary, on modern instruments, the 33-CD set has been taken over and marketed by Brilliant.
This set from Fischer now has to be seen as the standard by which subsequent performances will be judged. It reveals so much about the nature of Haydn's achievement without a hint of either the perfunctory or the wayward. At the same time it retains a distinctiveness that will delight as much as it will inform listeners.
Yes, modern instruments. But with meticulous attention to the performance practices which we know to have been in use in Haydn's time….it's a sprightliness, a transparent and informed acknowledgement of the way in which, presumably, Haydn expected his music to be played – with not a hint of romanticism or maudlin. Yet full of feeling. Vibrato is minimal. Brass in particular play with as penetrating a flare as can be expected. This set is an overtly modern one. But shot through with authenticity, with technical aplomb and with expressiveness. Nor is Haydn's famed sense of humor neglected, underplayed – or for that matter overplayed. But add this to the beauty, depth, development across the nearly 40 years over which Haydn wrote his symphonies and you have a remarkably precious collection of CDs. Thoroughly recommended.”
- Mark Sealey, Classical.Net