Haydn 27 - Symphonies Nos 3, 33, 108, 14. Heidelberger Sinfoniker / Johannes Klumpp. ℗ 2023 Profil Medien GmbH

CD Spotlight

Tremendously Vivid

GERALD FENECH listens to Volume 27 of Hänssler Classic's Haydn symphonies series

'... Klumpp's utter dedication to the project shines brightly with an intensity that makes the music leap from its pages.'


When one thinks about Franz Joseph Haydn's symphonic output, a pertinent question comes to mind. Can we ever come to a definitive conclusion about what Haydn really composed? Well, I have no answer to this awkward puzzle; all I can say is, that if it concerns Haydn's music, then so be it. A friend of mine once told me that even if Haydn sneezed he made music, and I cannot agree more.

This Volume 27 of Haydn's complete symphonic cycle from Johannes Klumpp and the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra for Hänssler Classic is not only most welcome, but one can consider it an event, as it brings to light four rarities that bring to the fore Haydn's symphonic development as a composer.

Listen — Haydn: Allegro (Symphony No 3 in G)
(HC22077 track 1, 0:02-0:52) ℗ 2023 Profil Medien GmbH :

With Volume 25, Klumpp and his team started to record those pieces still missing from the complete cycle in chronological order, and with these four symphonies - Nos 3, 14, 33 and 108 - one can decipher the path that the composer went through that would eventually lead to his mature symphonic essays, in particular the 'Paris' and 'London' pieces.

Listen — Haydn: Andante (Symphony No 108 in B flat)
(HC22077 track 11, 0:00-0:58) ℗ 2023 Profil Medien GmbH :

We are thus in the midst of a young, wild Haydn, a Sturm und Drang Haydn. Heidelberg Haydn is a paradigm of dynamism, freshness, wildness, humour and constant surprise. In Klumpp's own words:

I am glad we are continuing the journey, completing the cycle. My musical encounters with the Heidelberger Sinfoniker have always been journeys into which happiness, idealism, love of music and technical perfection join forces with the will to create something really special.

Undoubtedly, this repertoire is highly competitive, and complete Haydn cycles of his symphonies abound. Antal Doráti and Iván Fischer readily come to mind, but this latest venture, which to my mind is more accurate than most, can certainly hold its own among the very best.

Listen — Haydn: Trio (Symphony No 14 in A)
(HC22077 track 15, 1:56-2:48) ℗ 2023 Profil Medien GmbH :

Performances are tremendously vivid and overflowing with passionate relish, and Klumpp's utter dedication to the project shines brightly with an intensity that makes the music leap from its pages.

Listen — Haydn: Finale (Symphony No 33 in C)
(HC22077 track 8, 2:59-3:39) ℗ 2023 Profil Medien GmbH :

One last thing. The booklet notes are a goldmine of information on the historical and technical aspects of these works, so do read the essay before you listen. Doing so will certainly increase your enjoyment of these wonderful creations. Sound and presentation are first-rate.

Copyright © 26 April 2023 Gerald Fenech,
Gzira, Malta



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