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John Terauds
Toronto Star, January 2009

As we mark the 200th anniversary of Franz Josef Haydn's death, Budget label Naxos caps its symphony series with three sunny, major-key efforts in a major key, as well as two opera overtures. The modern-instrument Toronto Chamber Orchestra—which we never get to hear live—has made several Naxos recordings, all notable for their limpid sound. It's as if Kevin Mallon were shining a bright light on Haydn's impeccably sketched musical proportions. The effect is brilliant for its clarity…An unexpected treat is the nearly forgotten “Symphony A”.




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, November 2008

Kevin Mallon sets ideal tempos, lets the winds color the music tellingly, and gets his players to give him precision without stiffness. …The sonics are generally very good. Read full review at ClassicsToday



Giv Cornfield
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, November 2008

For those of us used to the Haydn canon consisting of 104 symphonies, this disc is news, bumping the tally up to 108! The notes tell us that the last two in this group are early works that predate Haydn's employment at Esterhaza. The others are designated as Symphonies A and B—all somewhat confusing. No matter: the music is typical and lovely Haydn, and Maestro Mallon certainly has a way with this repertoire. This album is also CD No.22 in the just-released 25 CD set of the complete symphonies, one of the greatest bargains in recorded music history.



David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2008

Having last month preempted the conclusion of Naxos’s cycle of Haydn symphonies, I can now, with absolute certainty, describe this as the final installment. It contains just the Sixty-second from Haydn’s originally published symphonic opus, plus two early works that were later given the numbers of 107 and 108, and probably date from the late 1750s when the composer was still in his twenties. He was at the time in the service of Count Morzin and would have had a limited number of musicians at his disposal. Tuneful, but stylistically simple, they were for pairs of oboes and horns, strings and harpsichord continuo. The first, which is in three short movements, opens with a horn motif in hunting mood, and a feeling of drama pervades the symphony. The attraction of the second is the charm of the minuet that features a solo bassoon, and a sparkling final Rondo. Neither would have any significance did they not carry the famous name. The Sixty-second was a ‘product-line’ score for the Eszterháza household and recirculates material from a previous overture, and concludes with a happy skipping rhythm for a vibrant finale. The disc also includes two overtures, La vera constanza and Lo speziale, scores that we would today describe as Sinfonias.So the cycle ends with the Toronto Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble that includes players well versed in baroque music, yet playing with the safety of modern instruments. Their conductor, Kevin Mallon, is from the school of Haydn performers who employ brisk tempos and never stand between the composer and the listener. Very clean and clear recording, but I wish we could have heard more harpsichord. Later this month the whole series of discs will be available as a boxed set.






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12:10:47 PM, 14 July 2014
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