A seriously heady Haydn

The period-instrument Arion Baroque Orchestra stir up the ‘Storm and Stress’ of Haydn’s symphonies to tantalising effect

Composer: Haydn
Repertoire: Symphonies Nos 41, 44 & 49
Artists: Arion Baroque Orchestra/Gary Cooper (harpsichord)
Rating:  5/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: Early Music Dot Com EMCCD 7769

Guest conductor Gary Cooper galvanises the Canadian period orchestra into serious action, pumping the ‘tuttis’ from his harpsichord keys in Symphony No.49. The Adagio first movement is tantalisingly slow with the low violins purring, ready to pounce. The second movement explodes, the biting quavers and wide-striding minims epitomising ‘Storm and Stress’. The finale is a breathless Captain Pugwash. Symphony No.41 is underplayed but the Andante allows Arion’s founder, flautist Claire Guimond, to show off her angel’s breath tone. Symphony No.44 lacks sadness in the Adagio but the minuet is a Ländler of Mahlerian lilt. The oboes dancing in thirds bring out Haydn’s Hungarian side.  Much to enjoy.