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Andy Fawcett
Audiophilia, October 2012

For the newcomer, two sets represent the pinnacle of Haydn’s oeuvre and an ideal starting point; the twelve London Symphonies (93–104) and the six Paris Symphonies.

It is…only the brightest of a cluster of jewels, as the quality of all six works [Paris Symphonies] is universally high—a point made most emphatically by this recording.

Bruno Weil’s tempos are consistently faster and boast that rare ‘coiled spring’ dynamism which sets the pulse racing and makes the performance irresistibly engaging. The orchestral balance and sheer fidelity of this recording…is also clearly superior. © 2012 Audiophilia Read complete review

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, July 2012

As principal guest conductor of the Toronto-based Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, [Bruno Weil] has some of his finest moments in 20-bit 1994 recordings of Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Paris” Symphonies. In these accounts of six masterworks that set the standard of excellence for the classical symphony when Haydn premiered them in Paris in 1787, the Tafelmusik musicians distinguish themselves with precise, exhilarating execution, warmth of phrasing, and a sense of swaying movement and rhythm that has become something of their trademark.

…the no-name symphonies have a lot going for them…They include No. 84 with its majestic Largo opening and its catchy Menuet, and No. 86 with its very effective use of drums and tympani in the opening. 86 also has a decidedly ambivalent mood in its slow movement, neither happy nor sad but inhabiting a dreamlike realm of its own, and a Menuet with a gentle waltz-like sway.

…[in] No. 87…We hear one thing that distinguishes it right away in the highly rhythmical Vivace opening movement, bustling with excitement and activity that is just the sort of thing Tafelmusik eats for breakfast. There is much unrestrained joy in this movement which takes advantage of the warmth inherent in the home key. The lovely Adagio, with its melody entrusted to an ethereal flute, and the Menuet with its high-fallutin’ oboe solo in the Trio will stay with you for a long time after you’ve heard them. And the big bravura sound of Tafelmusik finds ample scope for expression in the vivacious Finale. © 2012 Audio Video Club of Atlanta, June 2012

This new label is releasing a variety of recent and not-so-recent recordings by Canada’s very fine period-instrument ensemble, and even the re-releases are proving to be ones that stand with the very best recordings made in more recent years. The two-CD set of Haydn’s “Paris” symphonies is a perfect case in point. Under Bruno Weil’s direction, these symphonies have six distinctive sounds that nevertheless possess enough points in common to mark the works as a set. Whether in the majesty of the first movement of No. 84, the French-inspired dotted rhythms of the Adagio opening of No. 85 (“La reine de France”), or the highly unusual “Capriccio—Largo” of No. 86, Weil shapes the music with care and elegance, and the orchestra plays with spirit and a sure sense of understanding of the music itself and of the period instruments with which the players re-create it. There are many fine performances of the “Paris” symphonies, in both period-instrument and modern-instrument versions; this one…remains among those at the pinnacle of effectiveness and beauty. © 2012 Read complete review

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