Haydn was asked by the London concert promoter Salomon to compose and conduct six symphonies among other works. The composer sought a way to make his 100th symphony distinctive and ht on the the use of Turkish percussion – in fact the symphony is also known as the “Turkish” Symphony. The combination of bass drum, cymbals and triangle – which came from the music of the Turkish Janissaries – was used by other composers as well, including Mozart. They are heard in the second and fourth movements – in the second during a slow march, and in the closing movement adding a heroic sound and some seriousness to a typical Haydn good-humored finale.
The Sinfonia Concertante is one of Haydn’s loveliest works, with a concertino of players on violin, cello, oboe and bassoon in front of the chamber orchestra’s ripieno. The opening Allegro is the longest of the three movements. The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra is one of the finest of the many musical groups active in that country. Some of their classic recordings from the LP era are being reissued on CD, and this season the orchestra celebrated their 50th anniversary with a special concert at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. PentaTone’s five-channel hi-res surround skillfully presents the three works in excellent sonics. The separation of the four soloists from the orchestra in the Concertante is so much more effective than on the typical standard stereo CD.
– John Sunier