Thursday, November 4, 2010

Early Haydn by Beecham

This time I present what I believe to be Sir Thomas Beecham's only recording of an early Haydn symphony (from 1763), or indeed any Haydn symphony other than the last twelve (the "London" Symphonies, Nos. 93-104).  Someone correct me if I'm wrong!  Anyway, here it is:

Haydn: Symphony No. 40 in F Major
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham
Recorded April 20, 1948
HMV DB 6823 and 6824, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 35.47 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 15.75 MB)

On the eve of the Haydn anniversary year, 2009 (the 200th anniversary of his passing), I uploaded to RMCR four vintage recordings of his symphonies by four different British conductors (including Beecham).  I've re-uploaded these; here are the details:

Haydn: Symphony No. 22 in E-Flat Major ("The Philosopher")
London Baroque Ensemble, conducted by Karl Haas
Recorded July 4, 1951
Parlophone SW 8122 and 8123, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 37.7 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 17.35 MB)

Haydn: Symphony No. 45 in F-Sharp minor ("Farewell")
London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Henry J. Wood
Recorded April 19, 1934
Columbia LX 323 through 325, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 57.34 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 24.42 MB)

Haydn: Symphony No. 95 in C minor
London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Hamilton Harty
Recorded October 14, 1935
Decca K 798 and 799, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 38.17 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 16.33 MB)

Haydn: Symphony No. 102 in B-Flat Major
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham, Bart.
Recorded June and October, 1949
HMV DB 9449 through 9451, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 48.67 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 25.55 MB)

Finally, for anyone interested in hearing my own piano playing, about this time last year I participated in a Haydn commemorative concert at my church, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett in Lawrenceville, Ga.  From this concert I have uploaded two works: the "Gypsy Rondo" Piano Trio in G (with violinist Laura Reynolds and cellist James Woodall), and the wonderful Andante with Variations in F minor for piano solo.  Enjoy, but don't expect note-perfect playing!

Link (FLAC files, 95.58 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 35.6 MB)


  1. Thanks for these, especially the Beecham. For me, Beecham, Scherchen, and some few others reign supreme in Haydn symphonies.

  2. Bryan,

    A surprise for sure! I never imagined that Beecham recorded any Haydn below the "80's." Wow is all I can say!

    And, thanks for providing the chance to hear your own musical talents.


  3. That's lovely Haydn playing from you and your trio - vivid and with lots of joy. Catchy!

  4. I listened now to your solo playing - ah I love that piano piece (andante + var.) - I have 2 78s from Lily Kraus with this Haydn piece and for me that's the top... but I did enjoy your playing a lot. My admiration!

  5. Satyr - thanks for the kind words. I also have that Lili Kraus set and I agree with you - that's as good as it gets and I could never hope to come close, nevertheless, it was most enjoyable to learn and to play.

  6. Thank you! I adore Beecham's Haydn, and did not know about this recording.