John J. Puccio
, January 2013
On the present disc, we hear [the Mozarteum Orchestra] perform two late-Haydn symphonies with their Chief Conductor…Ivor Bolton.
Maestro Bolton begins the album with the Symphony No. 102 in B-flat major, wherein he adopts some zesty speeds while staying well within the bounds of propriety…the realization is energetic enough easily to capture and keep one’s attention, and the orchestra’s playing is immaculate.
Bolton and company provide a clear alternative for listeners seeking a newer, digital experience. Bolton’s performance of No. 102 is a delight, going out with a cheerfully bouncy reading of the final movement.
Up next, we get the Symphony No. 103 in E-flat major…Bolton makes the most of the piece, offering up an interpretation of grace and refinement along with an obvious vigor. Bolton’s rendering of it displays its charms in abundance…Bolton’s handling of the Finale is playfully alert.
…the sound is distinctive—big, wide, full, and close, yet with a moderately good depth of field. The dynamic range and transient impact sound especially strong, giving the sonics a lifelike, front-and-center feeling. The frequency balance comes across quite evenly, with more than adequate bass and reasonably extended highs. More important, there is no edge, no brightness, nor any dullness to the sound. Finally, a modest warmth and a mild degree of resonance accompany the general transparency of a recording that should please even finicky audiophiles. © 2013 Classical Candor Read complete review