WORKS: English and Scottish Songs
PERFORMER: Mhairi Lawson (soprano), Olga Tverskaya (fortepiano), Rachel Podger (violin), Oleg Kogan (cello)
CATALOGUE NO: 111 OPS 30-121 DDD
Haydn composed two sets of six English Canzonettas (1794 & 1795) which proved to be among the most enduring and successful works he produced in the country. Mrs Anne Hunter, wife of the brilliant surgeon Dr John Hunter, furnished or wrote the words, as she did of some other individual songs, including ‘The Spirit’s Song’ and Haydn’s moving farewell to Britain, ‘O tuneful voice’. The two latter items and several of the Canzonettas, as well as some of the Scottish songs with piano trio accompaniment, are included on this delightful disc. We are given a judicious selection which ought to please not only lovers of Haydn but all admirers of 18th-century music altogether. The period instruments include a very attractive-sounding Broadwood piano similar to the Longman and Broderip instrument Haydn himself owned. Lawson sings enchantingly. In fact, the disc is a real winner.