F.J. and J.M. Haydn: Flute Concertos & Scherzos

Posted by i kadek Mardika on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pahud is a highly sensitive and accomplished player whose silken tone, faultless breath control, and exemplary good taste bring rich rewards.

This is an exceptionally satisfying program of charming, unaffected music by the Haydn brothers, and by one of their most successful Viennese contemporaries, Leopold Hoffmann.

Some initial explanation is called for here: The D-Major Flute Concerto traditionally ascribed to Joseph Haydn is known to have been written during the early 1780s, and was indeed listed in one of his several thematic catalogs. But this work has long since disappeared without a trace, and the one recorded here, while formerly also attributed to Haydn, has now been positively identified as the work of Leopold Hoffmann (1738-93). 

Those requiring a brief but informative evaluation of Hoffmann's career should read Dr. Allan Badley's booklet essays supplied with any of the recent Naxos discs devoted to Hoffmann's music in the series "The 18th Century Concerto."

In any case, such long-standing confusion would doubtless have pleased Haydn greatly—there was, it would seem, no love lost between these two composers, and Haydn once wrote of his colleague as "a braggart who believes that he alone has achieved Parnassus, and who seeks to undercut me in all matters." But to set matters straight, particularly in the context of this release, Breitkopf's catalog of 1765 does make mention of the six "Scherzandi," confirming them as indeed the work of Joseph himself, and this set is included, with flute concertos by Michael Haydn and Leopold Hoffmann, on the recording considered here.

The outstanding performers are flutist Emmanuel Pahud and 15 musicians drawn from the ranks of Berlin's principal orchestras, who come together as the Haydn-Ensemble Berlin under the direction of their founder, the oboist Hansjörg Schellenberger. Pahud seems in every way to be a highly sensitive and accomplished player whose silken tone, faultless breath control, and exemplary good taste bring rich rewards here. True enough, the performing style used here tends toward modernism, in keeping with the instruments employed of course, but the precision and élan of this playing is a joy throughout, and this disc may be instantly recommended. Suffice it to say that Robin Golding 's erudite booklet note furnishes useful background to these delightful works, though I doubt you'll be able to resist the seductive appeal of this lovely music-making long enough to read it thoroughly! Superb. -- Michael Jameson, FANFARE

MP3 320 · 172 MB

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