Haydn's operas take centre stage

Genia Kuhmeier and Thomas Quasthoff accompanied by a punchy Freiburg Baroque Orchestra bring out Haydn's humour

Composer: Haydn
Repertoire: Italian arias 
Artists: Genia Kuhmeier (sop), Thomas Quasthoff (bar), Freiburg Baroque Orchestra/Goltz 
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Orchestra/Vocal
Label: DG 477 7469

Composer anniversaries are a good reason to explore less obvious repertoire, and here Haydn’s operas are in the spotlight. He didn’t have a Mozartian gift for tightly paced drama, but the individual arias are lovely and his quirky sense of humour is there. Quasthoff uses every corner of his expressive dark baritone, at turns comic and lyrical. He’s at home in the Italian style and rattles out his buffo patter with relish. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra plays with authentic punch.