The Haydn Year recently saw the passing of the great scholar of the composer and his works, H. C. Robbins Landon.
Haydn, Symphonies 49/80, Violin Concerto 1, G. von der Goltz, Freiburger Barockorchester
(released on November 10, 2009)
Harmonia Mundi HMX 2962029
This is only the latest in an unofficial series of Haydn symphonies (and other works) by the Freiburg ensemble, including another release this year, Symphonies 91 and 92, paired with the Scena di Berenice sung by Bernarda Fink. The best way, economically speaking, to add some Haydn symphonies to your collection at the moment is still with a larger set, like the re-release from Tafelmusik reviewed last week. Christopher Hogwood's historically informed recording with the Academy of Ancient Music, still very pricey in several little sets, has also been in my ears recently: they are elegant, subtly lined performances but not extraordinary enough to merit the current asking price. If you already own many of the early Haydn symphonies, these discs from the Freiburgers would be an excellent way to fill a gap in your collection, and anyone looking for a taste of those works would be assured an excellent introduction with these performances.