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Haydn in Iran

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Denis McCaldin Denis McCaldin | 12:00 UK time, Monday, 23 March 2009

nirt_chamber_orchestra.jpgI've been amazed and delighted at the amount of music and comment the Purcell Weekend has produced. He really was a genius at word-setting and produced so much memorable music.

Haydn is consequently a bit squeezed out this week - excluding the night-owl listening on Through the Night we have a rare performance of Symphony No 24 in D by Adrian Shepherd and Cantilena which begins Wednesday's Classical Collection at 10.00 am. This symphony has an unexpected concerto-like slow movement for flute and strings.

I definitely want to listen to Thursday's Performance on 3 at 7.00 pm, which features the CBSO and Sir Charles Mackerras in performances of Haydn's La Reine (No 85) and Vanhal's G minor symphonies. There should be some lively music-making that evening.

Friday sees us at the quarter-century in the chronological sequence of Haydn's symphonic output with No 25 in C, played by the Philharmonia Hungarica under Antal Dorati at 10.14 am on Classical Collection.

I've a particularly soft spot for this work, having conducted it on tour around the desert cities of Iran in 1977 with the country's National Iranian Radio and Television Chamber Orchestra. Although this was in the last few months of the Shah's regime, and was an uneasy time politically, the impression this piece made on some of the young Iranians, who had never seen an orchestra before, was very rewarding. The kids particularly like the trio of the minuet, where the two horns play a question-and-answer game with the two oboes.


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