Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Concerto for piano and orchestra in F major Hob.XVIII:3 (c.1765)
Concerto for piano and orchestra in G major Hob.XVIII:4 (c. 1770-82)
Concerto for piano and orchestra in D major Hob.XVIII:11 (1784)
Michele Boegner (piano)
English Chamber Orchestra/Jose-Luis Garcia
No recording dates or details of venues given DDD
WARNER APEX 0927-49810-2 [67:51]


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It can be inferred from the un-credited booklet notes that these three concertos were composed by Haydn for piano whereas my Haydn catalogue states that they were in fact composed for the harpsichord. However these piano concertos are admirable works and it is good to have them in the CD catalogue. With few exceptions Haydn’s concertos for various solo instruments are relegated to the background; his symphonies taking pride of place.

The concertos follow the composer’s characteristic three movement form with two Allegro movements either side of a slow Largo or Adagio. Owing to Haydn’s way with virtuoso passages for the keyboard it has been often stated that there seems to be an overload of notes. This however gives a most energetic feel to the concertos.

There is much to enjoy here and I must single out the Adagio cantabile of second concerto for special praise. It is a most appealing and beautiful movement. I am in full agreement with the author of the booklet notes who states that, "these superb works express a fundamental optimism and serenity…"

I could never say that these performances were bursting with idiosyncratic character; yet there is a real sense of polish and style. With energy and verve, the soloist Boegner takes the proceedings along at a cracking pace in what are accomplished interpretations. She makes a really excellent use of the embellishments.

Michele Boegner, a soloist who I was hearing perform for the first time, clearly has a splendid rapport with the English Chamber Orchestra who shine under the persuasive and quick-march direction of Jose-Luis Garcia offering a most agreeable partnership. It is a shame that the sparse booklet notes give no information on any of the performers or details of the recording venue or dates.

The piano is placed rather forward in a warm recording however I found the sound to be distracting and uncomfortably over-bright. I did manage to tone down the brightness to a more manageable level by adjusting the controls however the effect was still far from perfect which is frustrating as otherwise the performances from Boegner are most impressive.

Overall the performances of these fine Haydn works are winning ones but the over-bright sound quality unfortunately prevents me from being able to recommend this Apex release with absolute confidence.

Michael Cookson

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