Sony Masterworks Celebrates the Bicentennial of Haydn With Haydn: The Complete Symphonies Box Set
Sony Music Entertainment - 12/21/2009
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Haydn's death, Sony Masterworks releases Haydn: The Complete Symphonies box set. This 37-disc collection began eleven years ago, when in 1998, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies laid the foundation for an ambitious CD project called "Fun with Haydn." They performed the first of the 107 Haydn symphonies in concert and recorded them at the same time. From season to season, enthusiasm for this unique project grew with the audience. The last five concerts were recorded during the first half of 2009. Haydn: The Complete Symphonies box set became available on December 15, 2009.
To Dennis Russell Davies, musical director of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra from 1995 to 2006, this giant music cycle means a possibility "to study this incredible musical heritage in depth and to experience it from a conductor's point of view." The public, according to Russell Davies, has changed its attitude compared to 1998. Haydn has long been regarded a minor composer compared to Beethoven and Mozart. Says Davies: "I realize that nowadays more and more people sense the dramatic impact of this music, especially when played with such passion and enthusiasm."
Dennis Russell Davies and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra have not recorded on period instruments nor reconstructed the symphonies in historically informed performance practice. The instruments, the recording studio and the interpretation are state of the art - one way to transport these symphonies as part of our present.
Haydn's 107 Symphonies were composed between 1759 and 1795. Haydn (1732 - 1809) became the creator of the classical symphony. He experimented with new methods and techniques in instrumentation and orchestral composition. His 107 symphonies played a key role in the development of the symphonic form. Often the first movements are preceded by slow introductions; his sonata movements and the finale (often in sonata or rondo form) are unparalleled in vitality and mastery. Haydn's most famous symphonies are the "Paris Symphonies" (Nos. 82 - 87) and the symphonies composed in London No. 101 ("The Clock") and No. 103 ("The Drumroll").
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