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John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, August 2016

The smallish orchestra, comprised of about thirty or so players, is just the right size for Haydn. We get an intimate, fairly transparent presentation from this size an ensemble. Not so small that it diminishes the weight Haydn’s work but small enough to capture the zest and vigor of his music. Maestro Halász does a good job keeping them on their toes and ensuring the scores get just treatment.

I’ve always suspected it’s hard for any conductor to go too far wrong in the scores of Haydn or Mozart or Schubert. The music is simply too delightful. Nevertheless, Maestro Halász does an extra-special job with it. Although he never takes anything at a breakneck speed, he and his crew do provide a zesty, frothy mixture of notes. The works are lightweight, to be sure, and the listener will probably have a hard time telling one from the other; still, Halász does his best to differentiate them so it doesn’t all sound the same. © 2016 Classical Candor Read complete review

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, July 2016

Charming, delightful, amusing, dramatic, and moving…

…I’m quite happy with these performances and would recommend this release to anyone… © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Lawrence Hansen
American Record Guide, July 2016

The orchestra and Halász have a well-attuned feel for Haydn’s idiom—you won’t mistake this for Mozart, and that’s just fine. Halász isn’t grasping for more than the robust, cheerful music can deliver; and the orchestra plays with crisp, bright clarity without a hint of fussiness and very little period performance practice pedantry. Sonics are superb: crisp and clean, with just the right hint of room ambiance. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Threasher
Gramophone, May 2016

Michael Halász and his players from Pardubice are thoroughly decent advocates for this music. …the woodwind offer sweet commentaries and the horns—all-important as the Eszterháza band often didn’t contain trumpets—ring out joyfully. Halász is experienced in Haydn and knows exactly how this music should go, so there’s none of the limpness that marred odd volumes in this label’s symphony cycle. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Nigel Harris
MusicWeb International, April 2016

The Czech Chamber Philharmonic of Pardubice proves to be fully the equal of such estimable bands as the Capella Istropolitana or the Failoni Orchestra of Budapest: they play with precision, verve and no little virtuosity… The vastly experienced Michael Halász is reliability itself: timings suggest that his tempi are apt to be slightly slower than those of Manfred Huss, but he is never remotely ponderous and his interpretations have considerable style and dramatic flair. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review, April 2016

The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice under Michael Halász offers deliciously upbeat readings of overtures that span more than two decades of Haydn’s career, …What the fine, fleet performances here show is that in opera as in other forms, Haydn was a true master… © 2016 Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, March 2016

Vivid and particularly dramatic performances of a vast collection of Haydn overtures, most of them not very well known and certainly worth to be played. © 2016 Pizzicato

Bruce Reader
The Classical Reviewer, March 2016

These opera overtures and sinfonias are in no way inferior to those of Mozart. They contain a surprisingly rich feast of Haydn. The performances by Michael Halász and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice are first rate. © 2016 The Classical Reviewer Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2016

Having spent the past fifty years collecting seldom staged opera performances, Haydn’s present standing is reflected by my having seen just four of his works. That has not always been true, his popularity requiring that between 1770 and 1783 much of his output was for the theatre, their content ranging from the dramatic Armida to the comic opera where a man goes to the moon in Il mondo della luna (Life on the Moon). As was the fashion at the time, they were prefaced by a Sinfonia, often with multiple movements, with that for the opera, La vera constanza (True Constancy), employing five short movements. In mood they often had no relationship with the story that was to follow. The disc does not claim to that contain all of the existing scores—some certainly having been lost—but that does seem to be the case. Many are perfectly constructed mini symphonies, or, in the case of La vera constanza we have a short virtuoso bassoon concerto, while others, such as Orlando Paladino (Orlando the Paladin), are in the form of a conventional late 19th century overture. They are here performed by an orchestra of around thirty-five members, probably slightly larger than Haydn would have enjoyed, but this, and a rather dry recorded sound, gives the impression of a small opera venue in which he would have worked. The Czech orchestra, and the conductor, Michael Halász, provide beautifully neat performances, with immaculate intonation and clearly defined inner detail. An unusual release I highly commend to you. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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