HAYDN:  Symphony No. 94 in G "Surprise."  Symphony No. 96 in D "Miracle."  Symphony No. 97 in C.
Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orch/Eduard van Beinum, cond.


Haydn's Symphony No. 94 was recorded September 24, 1951; the original LP release coupled it with a delectable account of Mozart's Symphony No. 33 recorded the same day.  This recording of Symphony No. 96, made in December 1952 during the same month they recorded Symphony No. 97, actually is the second Beinum made of the work:  he previously had recorded it September 21, 1947, issued on three Decca 78 rpm disks.

The first Haydn symphony Concertgebouw recording was No. 104 for DGG with Paul Van Kempen conducting, in May 1943. Van Beinum's first "Miracle" was next, in September 1947, followed by his "Surprise, a remake of the "Miracle" and No. 97.  Some collectors may remember the superb "Military" recorded by Carlo Zecchi on Philips in 1954.  In following years there would be many Haydn symphony recordings:  Bernard Haitink recorded Nos. 96 and 99, Sir Colin Davis recorded nineteen of them from 1975 through 1986 and Nickolas Harnoncourt recorded Nos. 68, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103 and 104 from 1985 through 1988. Fortunately twelve of the Davis  (Nos. 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98,  99, 100, 101, 102,103 and 104) are currently available in two Philips twin-CD sets (42611 & 42614).

Van Beinum's Haydn are welcome additions to the catalog, particularly when they sound as good as they do here.  Many years ago I owned the original LPs, and as memory recalls, they never sounded as good as these transfers.  Nos. 96 and 97 were made from London LP 854, No. 94 from a Richmond LP (B19096) which has been carefully equalized. Highly recommended!

You can get this CD from Sound Dynamics Associates, P. O. Box 608, Dennis, MA 012638.  The cost is $10 including US shipping.  You can write to them:  ppaquin@mediaone.net or go to their website:  www.sd-associates.com

R.E.B. (April 2001)