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Haydn at Esterhazy -

'... a relaxed warmth entirely suited to the music and its period.'

Haydn: Cantates pour les Esterházy (c) 2002 harmonia mundi

Haydn joined the Esterhazy establishment in May 1761. This CD begins two years later, when there was magnificent family activity, both at Vienna and Eisenstadt. Prince Nicolaus's eldest son was married in the royal Hofburg, after which the bridal party left for Eisenstadt and celebrations that involved much Haydn music, including possibly a Te Deum, a welcome cantata, his opera Acide, an opera buffa and some dance music for a ball at which six hundred masks were counted. The following month Prince Nicolaus was back in Vienna to give a grand dinner and concert on 19 February. It was probably then that Haydn's Symphony No 12 was given. It has only three movements, the outer pair ebullient and festive. Between them, however, Haydn slipped in a very pensive Adagio in E minor. This gives the strings of the Cappella Coloniensis a chance to show admirable sensitivity [listen -- track 14, 0:00-1:08]. Nicholas Kraemer directs the players throughout with a relaxed warmth entirely suited to the music and its period.

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Copyright © 9 October 2002 Robert Anderson, London, UK


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