Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 78-81 - Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone

Classic FM Album of the Week, week starting 15 February after 10am

This new album of four of Haydn's less well-known symphonies is the latest release from Accademia Bizantina under Ottavio Dantone.

This little-known quartet of symphonies – Nos. 78-81 – date from the years 1782-1784 when Haydn still served as kapellmeister to the Esterhazy family in their spectacular summer and winter palaces in Esterháza and Eisenstadt where the music was first performed.

This is the first time Symphonies No.79 and 81 have been recorded on period instruments and they will form part of an upcoming 36-album set of the complete Haydn Symphonies, the first Haydn symphony cycle on period instruments.

These energetic symphonies fairly zip along and the musicians' love of the music is evident from the playing – with great verve in the fast movements and tenderness and subtlety in the slow. The sound is crystal clear, highlighting the unique sounds of the instruments, especially the rasping brass and delicate flutes.

A real treat.