The music of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) is so technically superb, so widely imitated, and so rich in quality and quantity that almost since the moment of its creation it has exemplified the Classical style. More than any other single composer, it was Haydn who created the Classical-era symphony. And his 68 string quartets? They are the standard by which all other Classical string quartets were and are judged. No less an expert than Mozart wrote that it was from Haydn that he had learned how to write quartets.
The music of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) is so technically superb, so widely imitated, and so rich in quality and quantity that almost since the moment of its creation it has exemplified the Classical style.
The London symphonies, sometimes called the Salomon symphonies after the man who introduced London to Joseph Haydn, were composed by Joseph Haydn between 1791 and 1795. They can be categorized into two groups: Symphonies No.93 through 98, which were composed during Haydn's first visit to London, and Symphonies No.99 through 104, composed in Vienna and London for Haydn's second London visit.
One of the most respected British conductors of Mozart; Jane Glover was, from 1984 to 1991, Artistic Director of the London Mozart Players. Under her leadership the orchestra expanded its repertoire beyond the great 18th Century classics to take in a wider range of contemporary works. In addition to their adventurous and highly praised London concerts, Jane Glover and the orchestra toured throughout the U.K. and abroad, to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and the Far East. In 1991 they made their sixth appearance together at the BBC Promenade Concerts. Their many recordings include a major and highly acclaimed series of Mozart and Haydn symphonies for ASV (the set of Mozart's Symphonies 25-41 won the Music Retailers' Association Award for Excellence in 1992, as had their recording of arias with Felicity Lott in 1991), as well as works by Britten and Walton.
Although The Creation is no stranger to period-instrument performance, two in particular spring to mind as particularly outstanding. The first of these is Christopher Hogwood's on L'Oiseau-Lyre, which is in English and remains the only version to assemble the huge forces for which Haydn actually wrote, with singularly thrilling results. Second, there is Hengelbrock on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, who demonstrated that at least on recordings the music can sound just as big and colorful, but without extensive doubling of instrumental parts. In his version of The Seasons, René Jacobs accomplished a similar feat, and so does this newcomer, even outdoing Hengelbrock in wringing every last drop of color from Haydn's perennially fresh orchestration. All of the other period performances, including Brüggen, Weil, Harnoncourt (twice), Kuijken, and Gardener, stand at some remove from these three.