Hyperion: Helios

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Hyperion: Helios
CATALOGUE NO: See text for individual catalogue numbers

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The opposite extreme to the ‘job lot’ approach to compilations is the straight reissue of an entire CD. One of the Decca discs is like this, an appealing collection of Shakespeare songs by Weber’s contemporary HENRY BISHOP, performed with great gusto by the Musicians of the Globe (470 381-2).

And Hyperion has taken the same route with its Helios reissues of the first discs in the HAYDN symphony series by the Hanover Band, directed from the harpsichord by Roy Goodman (Nos 1-5: CDH 55111; Nos 6-8: CDH 55112; Nos 9-12: CDH 55113).

These are highly enjoyable performances, with excellent solo playing in concertante pieces such as No. 6 (Le matin), and no lack of weight in the more serious movements such as the strings-only Adagio of No. 12.

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But if you fancy collecting the cycle as these reissues come out, be warned that Hyperion has abandoned the parent series: so out of the great sequence of 104 symphonies, you will end up, frustratingly, with precisely half.