Haydn: Symphonies 6, 7, 8 ‘Le matin’ ‘Le midi’ ‘Le soir’
This recording involves 18 members of Florilegium, the exact number of musicians Haydn had at his disposal when he composed his 6th, 7th and 8th symphonies (known as Le matin, Le midi, and Le soir) shortly after arriving at Esterhazy in 1761.
Haydn’s first symphonies for his new employer, Prince Paul Anton Esterházy, form a group of three entitled Morning, Noon, and Night. Perhaps these were a result of the Prince’s suggestion that Haydn write something programmatic along the lines of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. As symphonies for a small chamber orchestra, all three exploit the solo skills of each of Florilegium’s principals, from flute to double bass, not to mention heroic horns and spectacular violin and cello solos, each vividly characterised in an almost operatic way.
Ashley Solomon coaxes lively performances out of the members of Florilegium, with the depictions of rain, lightning and thunder conjured up by Haydn in the concluding storm movement of ‘Le Soir’ sounding particularly vivid. Agata Daraskaite’s sweet-toned violin solos are a distinct asset, as are the double bass solos by Carina Cosgrave. (BBC Classical Music ****)
Florilegium is one of Britain's most outstanding period instrument groups specialising in music from the 17th and 18th centuries. Many of their recordings have garnered international awards over the years.
This project was supported by a grant from Continuo Foundation.
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