Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Paul Sacher: Haydn Symphonies 53 and 67
An indefatigable champion of the music of his time, Paul Sacher was a brilliant conductor whose recorded performances of the classical and early romantic repertory are especially gratifying, notable, as they are, for their clarity of line. These two symphonies of Haydn, given satisfyingly full blooded readings, nonetheless delight us with a textural transparency that nicely opens up the linear movement of the pieces. Hans Rosbaud had a similar talent, evident even in the sonically dullest of recordings, and both artists evinced vigilant intellectual rigor, although Sacher's was, perhaps, less austere.
The list of twentieth century music for which we have to thank commissions by Sacher is more than impressive. I partial list of the over 80 works is given in the obituary written in The Independent at the time of his death in 1999. It includes both Music for Strings Percussion and Celeste of Bartok, as well as his Divertimento for String Orchestra. So we owe Maestro Sacher a lot, at least a respectful listening. I think the respect will rapidly turn to enthusiasm.
Link to FLAC and MP3 files