Album: Haydn, 12 London Symphonies (Naive)

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The Independent Culture

Liberated from Esterhazy by his patron's death, Haydn arrived in England in 1791 to a hero's welcome.

Recorded live in Vienna, Marc Minkowski's four-disc set with Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble exploits every nuance of the London Symphonies: the textures thrillingly contrasted, the theatrical effects of the "Drumroll" and "Surprise" balanced with sobriety and serenity, the obbligato solos mouth-wateringly lovely, the opening of the "Clock" sublime.

This is the finest period instruments ensemble in the world.