add to wish list | library

22 of 22 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

Support this site by purchasing from these vendors using the links provided below. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.
  MDG -
  901 1325-6
  Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 92 & 94 - Adam Fischer
  Haydn: Symphony No. 92 "Oxford", Symphony No. 94 "Surprise", Overture "La fedelta premiata"

Adam Fischer (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Recorded: September 20-21, 2004 Stefaniensaal Graaz
  2+2+2 recording

read discussion | delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Related titles: 4

Reviews: 2

Site review by Polly Nomial January 25, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:    
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Review by ramesh April 26, 2005 (7 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A splendid disc with the glaring exception of a solitary movement.
This is the same 'Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra' under the same Fischer who recorded the integral cycle for Nimbus on modern instruments; the liner notes call them the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Philharmonic, as well as the Haydn Philharmonic.( Shades of the Collateral Campaign in Robert Musil's great novel)They have a website at which confirms their identity; the site language is Austrian but not Hungarian, tsk, tsk. The notes say this was recorded in concert, though I can hear no audience noises. Both the notes and website declare the general orchestra has 45 members. They sound rather more than this here, though the rich and resonant recording is flattering. However, the recording isn't overresonant or tubby like the earlier examples of the Nimbus series. I have heard this orchestra and conductor in the concert hall perform both Haydn and Mahler 4 (definitely more than 45 here ), and this recording is very faithful to what I heard, including the tangy Viennese(I think) oboes and the timpani, probably played with hard sticks, for there is an utterly whacking great thump which Telarc would be proud of, for the surprise in the 'Surprise'. There is absolutely no info on the recording type, but there is minimal high frequency glare, so it presumably is either native DSD or high sample PCM.
The performances are brimming with zest and life, utilising the brisk speeds and pared down strings from the period movement to emphasize the woodwind parts. String phrasing, as in the Nimbus series, tends to be more highly articulated and over shorter phrase lengths than traditional performances. Vibrato is sparing, but the rich recording prevents any threadbareness to the sound.Comparative timings for the'Oxford'; Fischer 6:51, 6:22, 5:15, 5:19; Böhm with the VPO 1974 8:50, 7:57, 6:06, 5:53; Previn VPO 1992 7:37, 7:21, 5:51, 5:44. For the 'Surprise', Fischer 8:18, 5:49, 4:17, 3:51; Colin Davis/Concertgebouw 1981 8:28, 6:14, 4:51, 4:07.
The slow movements come second, and it is immediately obvious how sprightly Fischer's performances are. The Haydn biographer Robbins-Landon considers the 'Oxford' the summa of Haydn's symphonic output prior to the London symphonies. In part, this is due to the emotional depths of the slow movement, which is quite different to the heart-on-sleeve anguish in the 'Sturm und Drang' period. The slow movement in the 'Oxford' is marked adagio, that of the 'Surprise' is marked andante, with the additional qualification of 'semplice'. I looked at the tempo indications for many of the slow movements of these later Haydn symphonies; andante was the most common, followed by adagio and then largo. Additionally, most of the slow introductions to the first movements are adagios. When a composer marks these distinctions between adagio and andante, I cannot understand why the new authenticity of the period movement often blurs the pacing into a generic semislowness. The biggest difference in the traditional performances of the Oxford and this newcomer is in the adagio. A variance of 90 seconds in a 7 minute work is a great deal, and sounds it! Sprightly is fine for a slow movement, swift isn't. Any aunt Edna or uncle Arthur can get on stage and wave a wand to conduct a slow movement swiftly, but surely it isn't much to ask a professional musician to delineate the distinction between adagio, andante and largo regardless whatever their general feelings about tempi are. Beecham did this eloquently in late Haydn. For those who know the Haydn symphonies well, I am sure it would be interesting to go and play a sequence of symphonic andantes and then adagios, and see who does distinguish between them, and who has been caught napping. Fischer can and does conduct with due gravitas, because his slow introductions have majesty to them, though the transition to the main body allegro does sound like horses out of the starting gates. There is no doubt that Böhm has the most eloquent of 'Oxford' adagios; the central outbursts in this movement with Fischer sounding dramatic and tormented, but not tragic. Nonetheless, an enjoyable disc. There really isn't much else to take issue with. I only heard this in stereo, so I can't comment on MDG's surround.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Works: 3  

Joseph Haydn - La Fedeltà premiata, Hob. XXVIII:10
Joseph Haydn - Symphony No. 92 in G major, Hob. I:92 "Oxford"
Joseph Haydn - Symphony No. 94 in G major, Hob. I:94 (London) "Surprise"