Concert Review: Haydn & Mozart/ Australian Haydn Ensemble

Daniel Yeadon
Daniel Yeadon

Haydn & Mozart

Australian Haydn Ensemble, fortepiano soloist – Dr Erin Helyard/ cello soloist – Daniel Yeadon

City Recital Hall

July 16, City Recital Hall, Sydney

Writer: Leona Geeves

The Australian Haydn Ensemble, under the Artistic Direction of violinist, Skye McIntosh, with Guest Director and fortepiano soloist Erin Helyard and cellist Daniel Yeadon presented the timeless music of two Haydns and one Mozart. Helyard is now back in Australia and performed courtesy of the Melbourne Conservatorium where he is Senior Lecturer in Musicology and Historical Performance.

How lovely to hear such world class players on original instruments in such a warm acoustic…..

In this concert – a first for the AHE at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place and with more than 20 players – we heard music by the brothers Haydn, both admired by Mozart, as well as Wolfgang himself.

The programme was introduced by Erin Helyard, explaining that 18th century piano maker Nanette Streicher’s instructions that the instrument should face the audience with the lid off.

Erin was playing a fortepiano, made by Chris Maene, from Brussels, a replica of an Anton Walter, 1795 and generously lent by Ivan Foo. Mozart owned a Walter 1782 which is still in Salzburg to this day.

The concert opened with an expert rendition of Michael Haydn’s Symphony No 25 in G major, MH 334, with an Adagio introduction (Maestoso) by WA Mozart K.444.  Haydn was Kapellmeister at the Salzburg Court for some 40 years. The symphony was thought to have been composed by Mozart since a copy existed only in his handwriting. Saturday’s performance is likely to have been a world premiere of the original with the restored bassoon parts.  Mozart possibly copied it and added his introduction for a concert in Linz premiering his Symphony no 36.

Next up was Erin Helyard playing a brilliant rendition of Mozart’s Keyboard Concerto No.14 in E-flat, K449. It opened with the whole ensemble and ended in a happy snappy melody.

After interval, Daniel Yeadon, joined the ensemble this time playing the elder brother Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major, Hob.VIIb/1., although frequently performed, it is seldom done on period instruments. The score was only discovered in Prague in the 1960s. The concerto was composed for Joseph (Franz) Weigl, the young Bavarian cellist whom Haydn recommended to the Eisenstadt court of Prince Paul Anton Esterházy. The slow second movement for strings alone featured repeated melodies and the concerto’s final movement ends, demanding a shower of very fast and virtuousic playing.

To close, we heard Joseph Haydn’s Symphony no 83 in G minor, Hob. 1:83 ‘The Hen’ (La Poule), named for the amusing clucking sounds in the first movement.  This is the second of the six so-called Paris Symphonies commissioned by the Olympic Masonic Lodge. The ensemble’s Vivace ending was particularly lovely and a fitting end to a wonderful concert.

The concert was supported by comprehensive program notes compiled by Anthony Albrecht.

The Haydn Album, AHE’s debut album featuring three works by Joseph Haydn was launched at the concert. It contains the lovely Cello Concerto in C major, Hob.VIIb:1 again played mellifluously by Daniel Yeadon.

Erin Helyard performs the Harpsichord Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:11, often heard on piano. These two bookend the Symphony No. 6 in D major, Hob.I:6 ‘Le matin’ with an opening featuring a sunrise.



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