Haydn / Symphonies No. 89 & 90 / Somogyi

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This White Hot Stamper side two (Symphony 90) is some of the BEST SOUND we have ever heard for any Haydn Symphony, and recently we heard some awfully good ones such as those performed by Dorati for Mercury. I rank these performances right up there with Dorati’s, and on this side two I would have to say that the sound found on this early Westminster pressing (WST 17043) is EVEN BETTER than the sound of that Hot Stamper Merc. This pressing is nothing short of SUPERB in every way. Who knew? 

This record on side two is so amazing that we guarantee it will sound as good or better than any Golden Age classical recording you own. (Unless of course you have some of our White Hot Stamper classical pressings, in which case we guarantee it will give them quite a run for their money.)

VTA

Proper VTA adjustment for old classical records (and classical records in general) is critical to reproducing their sound correctly. If you do not have an arm that allows you to easily adjust the VTA, then you will just have to do it the hard way. It may be time consuming, it may be a pain in the ass, but there is no question in my mind that you will hear a big difference in the sound once you have the arm adjusted correctly. We did on this record, and do pretty much on all the classical LPs we play.

Side Two

A+++ White Hot Stamper sound that clearly beat all comers. Really natural and transparent, this copy was so 3-D that all the orchestral sections were clearly laid out across the stage with plenty of space and air surrounding them. This is not a sound we hear a lot when doing these classical shootout — even the best RCAs and Londons have a hard time imaging this well.

It’s so clear on this side you can hear the clacking of the bassoon keys, just as you would if you were sitting front row center!

Side One

A+, a huge step down I’m sorry to say. A bit thin and shrill, with some smear. A good side but far from a great one.

Quiet Vinyl

Yes, about Mint Minus on both sides!

Wikipedia on Symphony No. 89

The Symphony No. 89 in F major, Hoboken I/89, is written by Joseph Haydn in 1787. It is sometimes referred to as The Letter W referring to an older method of cataloging Haydn’s symphonic output. The second and fourth movements of this symphony are based on movements of a Concerto for Lire that Haydn composed in 1786, two years before this work, for the Ferdinand IV, King of Naples.

To accommodate other orchestras, Haydn had arranged all of his Lire Concertos to be played with flute and oboe as the solo instruments instead of the two lire.[1] Similar substitutions were made adapting the movements into a symphonic form, giving this work a decidedly windband flavor.

Wikipedia on Symphony No. 90

The Symphony No. 90 in C major, Hoboken 1/90, was written by Joseph Haydn in 1788 as part of a three-symphony commission by Comte d’Ogny for the Concerts de la Loge Olympique.[1] It is occasionally referred to as The Letter R — referring to an older method of cataloguing Haydn’s symphonic output.

The symphony is in standard four-movement form and scored for flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, continuo (harpsichord) and strings.

The finale contains one of Haydn’s more famous jokes. Soon after the recapitulation starts, the music arrives at a rousing and unexpected “ending” in C major followed by four measures of silence which leads the audience to believe the symphony may have actually finished. Instead, the first theme quietly resumes in the remote key of D-flat major.[2]