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VANHAL: Symphonies, Vol. 4

Composer(s):Vanhal, Johann Baptist
Artist(s) Mallon, Kevin, Conductor • Toronto Chamber Orchestra
Period(s) Classical (1750-1830)
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.570280
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

The symphonies of Johann Baptist Vaňhal are among the most important works of the classical period. Bold and imaginative, powerful and lyrical, Vaňhal’s symphonies are only now beginning to win wider recognition as the masterpieces they are. This recording features his early and highly prophetic Symphony in E minor as well as one of his later works, the brilliantly-scored Symphony in C (Bryan C17) which Haydn is known to have admired.

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Review By Julian Haylock,Classic FM,May 2008

Vaňhal’s emotionally charged symphonies provide a fascinating missing link between Haydn’s brusque Classicism and Schubert’s Romantic tendencies.

Review By Giv Cornfield,The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics,May 2008

Beloved Papa Haydn (though he never married) has worn the “Father of the Symphony” hat long enough! I submit that if not passed on to, it should at least be shared by Vanhal, the Benda crowd, and other Bohemian and central European symphonists too numerous to mention. Not to diminish Haydn, yet one must admit that many of his early symphonies are little more than enhanced, sometimes bland string quartets. On the strength of what Mallon and his excellent players are demonstrating in this series, Vanhal and others of his contemporaries produced spicier, more daringly adventurous orchestral music. I look forward to more in this vein!

Review By David Denton, Naxos,February 2008

Johann Baptiste Vanhal’s output exceeding seventy Symphonies, so Naxos have a long way still to go, though we must be exceedingly grateful for all they have given us thus far. Born to a Czech peasant family in 1739, he was entrusted to a local musician for his early training, good fortune coming his way when a wealthy patron realised his talents and arranged for composition lessons with the great Dittersdorf in Vienna. His financial support was rewarded by the genius he had released, further patronage enabling the young man to travel and move in exalted musical circles. Such were his gifts and prodigious output that he was to be the first musician to earn a living entirely from composing. Maybe in hindsight his greatness was overstated when compared with the young Haydn or



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