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The Complete Overtures

The Complete Overtures
From Late Baroque to Early Romantic (1762-1801) from Joseph Haydn
  1. Acide: Sinfonia in D major Hob. Ia:5 6'45
  2. Lo Speziale: Sinfonia in G major Hob. Ia:10 6'01
  3. Le Pescatrici: Sinfonia in D major Hob. I:106 3'11
  4. L´Infedeltà delusa: Sinfonia in C major Hob. Ia:1 7'40
  5. Der Götterrath: Sinfonia in C major Hob. XXIXa:1a 3'40
  6. Philemon und Baucis: Overture in D minor Hob. Ia:8 5'51
  7. Il Ritorno di tobia: Overture in C minor Hob. Ia:2 6'15
  8. L´Incontro improvviso: Sinfonia in D major Hob. Ia:6 7'10
  9. Die Feuersbrunst: Sinfonia in C major Hob. XXIXa:4 8'14
  10. Il Mondo della Luna: Sinfonia in C major Concert version ending added by Manfred Huss Hob. XXVIII:7 4'24
  11. Overture in D major Hob. Ia:7 4'12
  12. La vera costanza: Sinfonia in B major Concert version from 1782, for which Haydn added the Finale Hob. Ia:15 8'08
  13. L´Isola disabitata: Overture in G minor Hob. Ia:13 7'10
  14. La Fedeltà premiata: Sinfonia in D major Hob. Ia:11 3'41
  15. Orlando Paladino: Sinfonia in B major Hob. Ia:16 3'25
  16. Armida: Sinfonia in B major Hob. Ia:14 5'18
  17. Overture in D major Hob. Ia:4 3'28
  18. Die Sieben Letzten Worte Unseres Erlösers Am Kreuze: Introduzione in D minor Original version for orchestra Hob. XX:1 4'52
  19. Orfeo et Euridice ossia L´Animo del Filosofo: Overture in C major Hob. Ia:3 3'45
  20. Die Schöpfung: Overture "Die Vorstellung des Chaos" Hob. XXI:2 4'59
  21. Die Jahreszeiten: Overture to "Der Herbst" Hob. XXI:3 2'12
  22. Die Jahreszeiten: Overture to "Der Winter" Hob. XXI:3 3'58

  • Manfred Huss, Conductor
  • Haydn Sinfonietta Wien

  • BIS Records
  • BIS-CD-1818
This collection of the 22 extant overtures by Joseph Haydn charts the course of the composer’s creative career from its beginnings in the late baroque, via Classicism to the onset of a wholly new, Romantic musical idiom.

From Acide (1762/63) to The Seasons (1801), the programme comprises overtures to operas, German Singspiele and oratorios, testifying to Haydn’s unwavering creative power and his seemingly infinite potential for development.

Although his operas remain largely unknown today, producing operatic entertainments – by himself or other composers – was one of Haydn’s main tasks during his long employment at the court of the Esterházy family. Especially after an opera house was built at the family’s estate at Eszterháza – the ‘Hungarian Versailles’ – these productions became famous, and even the Empress Maria Theresia is reported to have remarked: ‘If you want to hear a good opera, you must go to Eszterháza!’

The death of Prince Nikolaus Esterházy in 1790 marked the end of the wide-ranging musical activities at Eszterháza, and Haydn’s last opera, Orfeo ed Euridice, was in fact intended for production in London. The overtures of the later years were composed as introductions to the great oratorios.

In these works, as Manfred Huss writes in his liner notes to this release, ‘Haydn opened the musical gates far into the nineteenth century.’ The Representation of Chaos, the overture to The Creation, was hailed by its contemporaries as the most revolutionary and modern music of its time, and in his last major work, The Seasons, Haydn continued along the same path, most clearly in the introduction to Winter.

This development is particularly striking in the present recordings, which are based on the original parts used at the first performances, and not on the later, published versions. Haydn Sinfonietta Wien’s acclaimed recordings of these works were originally produced and released by the Koch/Schwann label, and have been remastered by BIS Records for this collection.

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Classics Today

"There is no other set of Haydn overtures at this level of comprehensiveness, nor does there need to be. This one is sensational [...] One of the things that makes Manfred Huss’ performances so desirable is that he is one of the very few conductors who doesn’t destroy ensemble balances by making the (unwritten) continuo part too prominent. [...] Bottom line: lively tempos, gutsy brass and timpani, perky winds, and stunning music make this former Koch release a huge two-for the-price-of-one bargain on BIS."
David Hurwitz


"Manfred Huss and his brilliant period band – with gleefully whooping, rasping horns – relish to the full the colour and crackling energy of these overtures, without short-changing the delicate sentiments of their slow sections [...] Hearing these discs straight through provoked renewed astonishment at the immense creative distance Haydn travelled over four decades, from the breezy, tootling overture to Acide of 1762 to the harmonically visionary, almost impressionistically scored Chaos and Winter preludes."
Richard Wigmore
September 2009