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Haydn: Symphonies No. 101, "The Clock," and No. 102. Sigiswald Kuijken, La Petite Bande. Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 05472 77351-2.

Haydn: Symphonies No. 101, "The Clock," and No. 102. Sigiswald Kuijken, La Petite Bande. Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 05472 77351-2.

Fans of Haydn as well as fans of period instruments hands will find everything here they could hope for. Sigiswald Kuijken and La Petite Bande perform these works almost flawlessly. There may be other conductors who have invested each piece with slightly more character -- Beecham (EM]), for instance, with his greater buoyancy and wit and Klemperer (EMI) with his greater amplitude and grace. But that takes nothing away from these interpretations, which sparkle with good humor, zest, and rhythmic bounce; they display a total commitment to listener enjoyment. Besides, neither of the aforementioned conductors is recorded as well as Kuijken. By further comparison, Davis's Haydn (Philips), Mackerras's (Telarc) and Dorati's (London) all seem a bit heavy-handed, Goodman (Hyperion) a bit fussy, and Slatkin (RCA) a little mundane. In fact, the only fair comparison here is with Eugen Jochum and his sleeked-down LPO (DG), who perform the works with a relish equal to Kuijken's and in sound just as good; but Jochum's recordings only come in a complete set and are performed on modern instruments -- certainly not drawbacks, but differences one might consider. Deutsche Harmonia Mundi's sound is rich and smooth, robust, and well balanced. I have also heard other issues in Kuijken's Haydn series from DHM, all of which go at or very near the top of my list. He dearly beats the competition on period instruments and, with the exception of Jochum, most everyone else besides.
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Puccio, John
Publication:Sensible Sound
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Nov 1, 1997
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