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HAYDN Concertos for Two Lire Organizzate Hob.VIIh:1-5

Daniel Rothert and Philipp Spatling, Recorders; Benoit Fromanger and Ingo Nelken, Flutes; Christian Hommel, Oboe; Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Miiller- Bruhl

Naxos 8.570481

Do not let this release mislead you into ordering it as a supposed novelty, which I did.

Haydn composed some thirty concertos, a few of them lost or spurious. This instrument, as you'll learn towards the end of Keith Anderson's biographical essay (crowded onto two densely printed pages which I can't tackle without a magnifying glass) was the favourite of King Ferdinand of Naples - a development of the hurdy-gurdy, combining wheel, strings and keyboard with organ pipes (see illustration, not supplied by Naxos...).

The two Lire Organizzate specified are, sadly, replaced here by recorders, which makes the Cologne recording project far less interesting than anticipated.

It is light, charming music, suitable for putting on the CD player at mealtimes. You can sample the instrument's actual sound (perversely sound only) on a Hyperion video, which doesn't get you much further...

Naxos is often short on thought for their liner notes; there are six photos of the musicians taking part on this disc, together with their complete CVs - why, when the disc is potentially so interesting?

For a refreshingly different approach to marketing, see my enthusiastic review yesterday of Pantagruel's latest CD, for which they chose to give the minimum of information; "we wanted the emphasis to be on the music and on the pure effect of the music"; food for thought...

Peter Grahame Woolf

There is a previous recording from Vienna on Koch Schwann PGW