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M Haydn: Violin Concertos; Flute Concertos

Andrea Bertalan (flute); Capella Savaria/Zsolt Kalló (violin) (Hungaroton)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

M Haydn
Violin Concertos in A and G; Flute Concertos in D
Andrea Bertalan (flute); Capella Savaria/Zsolt Kalló (violin)
Hungaroton HCD 32865   74:35 mins


Listening to these affectionate performances, full of bonhomie, beautifully shaped and phrased, set in a warmly beguiling acoustic, I was reminded of modern-instrument chamber bands of the 1960s such as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the English Chamber Orchestra. Yet attentive listeners will register the lighter sound, greater textural transparency and reduced vibrato of these Hungarian musicians, playing as they are on authentic instruments or copies thereof.

Michael Haydn, if not quite in the same league as his famous older brother Joseph, was nevertheless a highly gifted composer whom Mozart greatly admired and was influenced by – not just in his student years, but as late as the unfinished Requiem. The two flute concertos included here are both delightful, demonstrating an easy flair for the genre that Joseph didn’t always match. Andrea Bertalan creates a gloriously smooth timbre, although die-hard authenticists might prefer something less overtly sonically beguiling.

Zsolt Kalló, directing from the violin, also tends towards a gently cushioned sound –  more cantabile legato than micro-articulated. Those who fondly remember Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden’s trailblazing 1970s Collegium Aureum recordings will enjoy this fine album.


Julian Haylock