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Nalen Anthoni
Gramophone, November 2017

Johann Baptist Vaƈhal—dogged by malice though he was—was important as a leading symphonist of the day, and this was recognised by Jan LaRue, HC Robbins Landon and specialist Paul Bryan. Listen from the two-minute opening Andante molto in D minor and engage with a work (composed c1779) both grand and profound. The unusual sonority of wind parts scored exclusively for oboes and trumpets enhances its significance as a symphony in all but name. © 2017 Gramophone

Penguin Guide, January 2009

VANHAL: Symphonies, Vol. 1 8.554341
VANHAL: Symphonies, Vol. 2 8.554138

Among the many new disc of forgotten music by Mozart’s contemporaries this Naxos issue stands out. These four compact Symphonies are all winningly colourful and inventive, often bringing surprises that defy the conventions of the time. The Esterházy Sinfonia under Uwe Grodd give attractively lively performances with some stylish solo work, vividly recorded.

The second disc in the Naxos Vanhal series is hardly less impressive than the first. The B flat Symphony (from the early 1760s) reminds the listener of both Haydn and Mozart. The D minor Symphony in only three movements, written a decade later, is scored for five horns, yet the main string theme of the first movement is quite haunting. The G minor work (1775) also has an endearingly gracious first movement, although horns are still prominent in the scoring. Excellent, polished performances from the City of London Sinfonia under Andrew Watkins on and very good recording.

Carl Bauman
American Record Guide, February 2000

"This is labeled Volume I, so we may expect a complete series. Naxos seems to be on the way to recording almost every composer's complete works. Best of all, Naxos is using Paul Bryan's cataloging of them to enable us to differentiate one from another in the same key. In fact, Mr. Bryan wrote the highly informative notes. Uwe Grodd and his Hungarian players are alert and polished. They are easily as good as the best of the other discs, and the recording is outstanding as well."

Martin Anderson
Fanfare, February 2000

"And now, at budget price, the German conductor Uwe Grodd, in a disc appetizingly styled Symphonies Vol. 1, presents, four more, in lusty readings that set the music fizzing on its way; ... The notes with this Naxos disc are by Vañhal expert Paul Bryan himself, whose association with this recording guarantees its scholarly reliability-though scholarly calm is the last mood evoked by Vañhal's good-natured brightness. Congratulations to Naxos, by the way, for being the first to remember the hacek of the 'n' of Vañhal's name. All three discs are safe recommendations."

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