The Arts Fuse: Handel & Haydn Society plays Haydn and Mozart

“Harry Christophers’ new disc with the Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) continues their recent survey of early and late Haydn symphonies, now adding some Mozart to the mix with concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky playing the Violin Concerto no. 3…

Symphonies, nos. 26 (Lamentatione) and 86… are rendered with vigor and style. The former, with its quotations of plainchant (hence the subtitle) and driving rhythms, is played with searing intensity. Its first movement pulses with subdued fury while the second glides by in stately beauty.

In no. 86, Christophers leads a performance that constantly feels fresh and unpredictable. The first movement’s forzandi jump out, as do the second’s sudden contrasts of dynamics. He gets the obligatory third-movement minuet to sound anything but: here, it’s a real, buoyant dance. And the witty finale, with its almost aggressive cheerfulness, sparkles…”