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Symphonies 94 & 101 / Haydn Variations [Import]

Haydn , Brahms , Monteux Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 25.95
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Product Details


1. Symphony No. 94 'Surprise': I. Adagio cantabile - Vivace assai
2. Symphony No. 94 'Surprise': II. Andante
3. Symphony No. 94 'Surprise': III. Menuetto e trio: Allegro molto
4. Symphony No. 94 'Surprise': IV. Finale: Allegro di molto
5. Symphony No. 101 'Clock': I. Adagio - Presto
6. Symphony No. 101 'Clock': II. Andante
7. Symphony No. 101 'Clock': III. Menuetto e trio: Allegretto
8. Symphony No. 101 'Clock': IV. Finale: Vivace
9. Haydn Variations

Product Description

In 1961, at age 86, Pierre Monteux was appointed chief conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra on a 25-year contract. It was typical of his sense of humour that he chose to sign a contract of this length at this time in his life, but there is no doubt that the brief period he enjoyed with the LSO - he died three years later, in 1964 - was one of the most remarkable Indian summers enjoyed by any conductor. Here reissued are absolute classics of the recorded oeuvre, in absolutely sublime sound and with a real degree of punch that informed the "Decca" sound of the 1950s-70s. For all the historically-informed, so called 'authentic' recordings of Haydn, the Monteux/Wiener Philharmoniker synthesis is one of absolute magic. And deeply felt, expertly paced, are the Brahms Haydn Variations. *** 'there are no more wittily enjoyable performances of these two symphonies in the catalogue. The recordings were considered demonstration-worthy in the early stereo era [Haydn] (Penguin Guide) *** 'riveting .. The orchestral playing is excellent at the vigorous style gives the music a splendid forward impulse: the listener is gripped from first bar to last' [Brahms] (Penguin Guide) 'The VPO play with spirit and finesse and are obviously enjoying themselves. Of course the 'Surprise' comes off with a splendid bang and the tick-tack of the clock is deliciously droll, the violins wonderfully elegant. But sample, too, the swing of the fast Minuet of No. 94, the slow spacious introduction of No. 101, or the fizzing zest of both finales, which still have just the right degree of weight. There are surely no more enjoyable performances on disc (and I am not forgetting Beecham, Dorati or Sir Cohn Davis). Yet what makes this reissue even more treasurable is the inclusion of Monteux's thrilling LSO account of the Brahms Haydn Variations' (Gramophone) --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Monteux and Haydn? Yes! Aug. 5 2003
Format:Audio CD
At first look, this CD might seem a bit odd, as one does not usually associate the music of Haydn with the great French conductor Pierre Monteux. Haydn was in fact not very popular in the first half of the 20th Century, and relatively few recordings of his Symphonies were made by the great conductors before 1960. In fact, the only ones I own other than this title are by Beecham, Furtwangler, Fricsay and Walter. Thankfully this brilliant stereo recording of Monteux and the Vienna Philharmonic performing the 94th and 101st Haydn Symphonies from 1959 does exist. An added treat here is Monteux's 1958 reading of Brahms' Haydn Variations with the London Symphony Orchestra. This release is part of Decca/London's "The Classic Sound" series, the predecessor to the "Decca Legends" series. Many of the original "Classic Sound" CDs have been reissued as "Legends" titles, but since this one has not, I expect it will go out of print shortly. Interested parties should act fast.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In awe of Monteux: five stars not enough June 2 2011
By Michael Capizzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Haydn has become the sina qua non of music for me. I know he is not the greatest of composers, but his music is so uniformly excellent and full of joy that I always come back to him for rejuvination and pure enjoyment. More to the point, I own three full sets of complete symphonies and about 100 discs of various individual recordings of those same symphonies. Yet after listening to this CD, I would give my entire collection for more recordings by Monteux. I wish I could say it better, but I cannot top the editorial review. I have never heard Haydn like this. Bernstein tried, but his efforts sound pedestrian compared to Monteux. Certainly not authentic in the sense of original instruments, but who cares?! You get on this ride and are swept away by a musical magic carpet. The performance is dazzling and the recorded sound, brilliant.
Monteux produced a performance for the ages. Get it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monteux and Haydn? Yes! Aug. 5 2003
By Michael B. Richman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
At first look, this CD might seem a bit odd, as one does not usually associate the music of Haydn with the great French conductor Pierre Monteux. Haydn was in fact not very popular in the first half of the 20th Century, and relatively few recordings of his Symphonies were made by the great conductors before 1960. In fact, the only ones I own other than this title are by Beecham, Furtwangler, Fricsay and Walter. Thankfully this brilliant stereo recording of Monteux and the Vienna Philharmonic performing the 94th and 101st Haydn Symphonies from 1959 does exist. An added treat here is Monteux's 1958 reading of Brahms' Haydn Variations with the London Symphony Orchestra. This release is part of Decca/London's "The Classic Sound" series, the predecessor to the "Decca Legends" series. Many of the original "Classic Sound" CDs have been reissued as "Legends" titles, but since this one has not, I expect it will go out of print shortly. Interested parties should act fast.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charm, dancing rhythms and a delight in performance June 24 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This disc couples together famous and respected recordings from 1958 (Brahms) and 1959(Haydn). I remember buying the Brahms when it was first released coupled with Monteux's wonderful Enigma Variations. This was an RCA Victrola release but recorded by a Decca team. That Elgar has now appeared coupled with a wonderful Dvorak 7 and the Brahms now makes a little more sense coupled with the two Haydn symphonies.

Both of these two Eloquence discs are considerably improved as sound over their last appearances, not just the originals I hasten to add, and now offer sound that is completely enjoyable and satisfying in modern terms. That lets the listener enjoy the music making that is typical of Monteux in his prime.

Monteux was a string player before becoming a conductor and always maintained that the experiences gained by playing second violin at the Folies Bergeres whilst still a student was invaluable in the way it instilled in him an understanding of the importance of the relationship between dance and rhythm. This may seem obvious but one has only to compare the light touch that Monteux applies with many of the following generations to realise that such instincts do not come so easily and that maybe there are not so many opportunities to learn them first hand these days.

No matter ...! What does matter is that this disc displays this crucial characteristic almost constantly. Both Haydn symphonies dance lightly and at tempi that would not offend modern period enthusiasts. There is no sense of hurry but just a joy in music making 'on the hoof' so to speak. Much of Haydn's compositional and social life was associated with the idea of the dance and it is totally appropriate that these two symphonies should reflect that.

The Brahms, a heavier work, is still given a light touch and the variations have a 'lift' that can make others seem relatively earthbound. This is nothing to do with sheer speed. It is to do with phrasing and an ear for textures and rhythms that will dance.

I would suggest that this is rather a special disc that shows how well in tune with current performing practice Monteux was before such things were even being considered.

This is a joyful disc and will give joy. As such it deserves to be considered by anyone interested in the program and is an example that a good record will always be a good record provided it stays true to the inherent nature of the music it enshrines.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Quite A Treat! June 14 2005
By BLee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I would just add that the recorded sound of this CD is very nice too. The conductor's reading is wonderfully clear with absolute balance and grace plus inner strength! Furthermore, there is hardly anything more to be desired from the Vienna Philharmonic. It is quite a treat indeed.

In case there is any viewer who aren't too familiar with the conductor, he was a fellow violin student with Thibaud-- presumably the greatest French violinist ever-- and he was good enough to share a first prize with the latter. He then became an orchestral violinist, and then a member of a string quartet before taking up the baton!

I would, nevertheless, suggest viewers to check out Eugene Jochum's 12 London Symphonies by Haydn-- DG boxset of 5 CDs, performed by London Philharmonic and Bayerischen Rundfunks-- alongside the great conductors mentioned in the other review. These are great music in nice stereo recordings recorded mainly in the 60s with some in late 50s and some in early 70s. They are absolutely worth your while.
5.0 out of 5 stars I am preparing a program featuring just second movements. ... July 8 2014
By D. G. Bromage - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am preparing a program featuring just second movements. I got two of my selections on this CD (Surprise Symphony and Clock Symphony).
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