Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 22 in E-flat, 78 in C Minor, 82 in C Even in these days of obsession with "authentic" performance practice, with gut strings on the violins instead of modern steel and, some would say, gutless… Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 22 in E-flat, 78 in C Minor, 82 in C Even in these days of obsession with "authentic" performance practice, with gut strings on the violins instead of modern steel and, some would say, gutless… Esa-Pekka Salonen Stockholm Chamber Orchestra Classical
Music Review

Symphonies Nos. 22 in E-flat, 78 in C Minor, 82 in C (1991)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Lead Performances: Esa-Pekka Salonen and Stockholm Chamber Orchestra; Genre: Classical

Even in these days of obsession with ''authentic'' performance practice, with gut strings on the violins instead of modern steel and, some would say, gutless musicianship on the podium, it's comforting to know that you can still make a Haydn symphony into a sublime experience with the instruments of a modern orchestra and a conductor of contemporary inclinations. The baby-faced Esa-Pekka Salonen, 32, conductor-designate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has worked out an admirable approach to three of Haydn's high-energy scores — Nos. 22 in E-flat, 78 in C Minor, and 82 in C — not on tiptoe but head-first. These particular works — No. 22 with its most original orchestration (mellow English horns instead of the brighter-toned oboes), the angry No. 78, full of storm and stress, and the uproarious No. 82, with its final ''Bear Dance'' — emerge particularly well under Salonen's vital, if sometimes feverish, onslaught. To his credit, he exacts a marvelous clarity from the crack little orchestra. You hear everything going on, the interplay of winds and strings, the colorful use of brass, the joyous passages here and there for solo instruments. Dour souls who lament the lack of promising young podium talent are urged to sample Salonen's work here, and to take heart. A-

Originally posted Apr 26, 1991 Published in issue #63 Apr 26, 1991 Order article reprints