Orpheus CO: Haydn Symphonies Nos. 48 & 49 - DG 519 607-1 (DDD)
Jacket EX / LP NM
German pressing - white circle label - DDD stereo
Wrote the wonderful critic and writer David Hurwitz for ClassicsToday.com: "Haydn's symphonies remain the step-children of the record catalog, particularly the early and middle-period works. Why this should be so remains a mystery. Listen to these two pieces, so different in character. No. 48 is all pomp and festivity, with wild horn parts (this performance omits the later addition of timpani); No. 49 is Haydn's greatest (and last) piece in "church sonata" form, with an opening slow movement, and it's grounded in his personal key for expressing loneliness, desolation, and tragic emotion--F minor. No other composer of the period, and few since--not even Mozart--had as wide an emotional range at his command as Haydn shows in these two masterpieces.
"Fortunately, they are wonderfully played here by the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Immaculate ensemble, perfectly judged tempos, colorful oboes (in both works), and amazing horn playing in No. 48 make for a thoroughly memorable experience, and a very well-recorded one too. At 51 minutes, the playing time is a little stingy by today's standards, but the artistic quality more than compensates. Available on demand from Arkivmusic.com, at least now these marvelous performances will remain available for the foreseeable future."