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ALLA BREVE: CHOPIN, RAVEL

July 20, 1986|JZOE SALTZMAN

MICHAEL HAYDN: SYMPHONIES NOS. 19, 23 AND 26. Harold Farberman conducting Bournemouth Sinfonietta. Vox Cum Laude Compact Disc MCD 10026. Joseph Haydn's older brother wrote 42 symphonies and, judging from these polished performances, he was more impressed with Mozart than Joseph. In fact, his familiar Symphony No. 26 was thought to be Mozart's Symphony No. 37 for many years. The other two symphonies are just as bright and clever as works of Michael's most famous relative and the modern instruments of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta bring to these sunny scores a brilliance and bravado period instruments can't match. Authenticity aside, these are welcomed performances documenting Michael Haydn's considerable symphonic legacy. The CD sound on this original digital recording gives each instrument added clarity; even the hard-to-capture harpsichord is clearly defined, no easy task sonically.

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