A collection of selected
records, CDs and books
on Joseph Haydn

This part of my homepage shall help you to listen to and buy a selection of works by Joseph Haydn which you can hear more frequently in classical concerts as well as selected literature about Joseph Haydn in cooperation with our sales partner Amazon. A complete discography would be a different place of research which cannot be intended with this collection for Haydn enthusiasts, music lovers, or Haydn beginners.

We think it extremely important that the works and artists presented here meet highest standards, therefore we often relied on reviews of international experts and critics as well as relevant music magazines and homepages.
Nevertheless we ask the users of this website for their understanding and forgiveness that there might be traces of personal inclinations in the selection criteria. And now, we wish everybody a lot of pleasure and entertainment listening to Haydn's music!
PS – This list is updated regularly!

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Category Sound and Video Recordings

Section I: Symphonies

There are numerous recordings of Joseph Haydn's symphonies available, some of them are complete recordings or recording cycles which started with the intention of becoming complete recordings, but could never be completed for several reasons.

1) By far the most authentic complete recording was achieved by the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Philharmonic under the direction of Ádám Fischer produced between 1987 and 2001. These symphonies were recorded in the historical Haydnsaal of the Esterházy palace in Eisenstadt (Austria).

Between 2004 and 2006 Ádám Fischer made a re-recording of the symphonies nos. 88, 92, 94, 97, 101, and 102 with the Haydn Philharmonic. He contributed the wide experience of his 20-year cooperation with the orchestra and his own musical development in these recordings. A must for every Haydn fan.

2) Haydn enthusiasts also highly appreciate the complete recording with the Philharmonia Hungarica under the direction of Antal Doráti, which was made between 1969 and 1972)

3) Friends of period instruments will highly esteem the comprehensive recording with The Academy of Ancient Music under the direction of Christopher Hogwood performing symphonies nos. 1-75, 94, 96, 100, and 104. A compilation of these recordings with those of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Orchestra of the XVIIIth Century under the direction of Frans Brüggen and a supplement with the Accademia Bizantina under the direction of Ottavio Dantone is not available at the moment, but could probably be offered on Ebay channels.

More recordings on period instruments are among others by Trevor Pinnock, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bruno Weil and Jeanne Lamon with their ensemble "Tafelmusik", and Sigiswald Kuijken with "La Petite Bande".

4) Two less known conductors already made a complete recording as well as a recording of a number of selected symphonies in the 1950s and 1960s.

A) A complete recording with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Ernst Märzendorfer. A true rediscovery and highly recommendable!

B) A series of symphonies nos. 1-17, 19-65 with considerable gaps, adding nos. 92, 96, 98, 107 and 108 with the Vienna Symphonic under the direction of Max Goberman. Regrettably this ambitious attempt to achieve a complete recording had to be terminated prematurely due to the early death of Max Goberman at the end of 1962. The adjacent link refers to the recording of the symphonies nos. 16, 17, 19, and 21, the other recordings can be found easily.

5) A very recent recording of all Haydn symphonies is a work in progress called Projekt Haydn 2032 under the direction of Giovanni Antonini with the orchestras "Il Giardino Armonico" and the "Chamber Orchestra of Basel". This project is planned and realized in preparation of Haydn's 300th birthday in 2032. The parallel series of live concerts has proceeded until no. 11 "AU GOÛT PARISIEN", parts 1 to 7 are already published on CD. The adjacent link refers to no. 1 "LA PASSIONE".

6) Further conductors and their respective orchestras who devoted themselves highly to Haydn and the performance of his works are among others

Leonard Bernstein,

Sir Roger Norrington

and Sir Simon Rattle.

Section II: Quartets and Trios

Joseph Haydn is renowned for his merits concerning the musical genre and consequently called "Father of the string quartet" although the label "string quartet" is only an invention of the 19th century. In any case Haydn was the model for his companions and successors Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Seen from the musicological point of view Haydn's contribution to the development and refinement of chamber music in different kinds of instrumentation including the highly valued baryton of Prince Nikolaus I. Esterházy cannot be overestimated.

The following recordings of quartets and trios will give you a small selection of this extensive part of Haydn's oeuvre.

1) A still excellent complete recording of Haydn's string quartets was realized by the Salzburg Hagen-Quartett.

2) The Auryn-Quartett also realized a highly acclaimed recording, by many critics regarded as reference. It is conceived as a future complete recording of Haydn's quartets.

3) A probably unique recording of Haydn's piano trios concerning the comprehensive conception and musical quality was realized by the fantastic Beaux Arts Trio.

Section III: Concerts for various solo instruments

Joseph Haydn did not write as much concerts for solo instruments and orchestra like i.e. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Below you will find only the works confirmed by musicology
a) violin, 4 works, one of them lost
b) violoncello, 2 works
c) horn, 2 works, one of them lost
d) trumpet, 1 work
e) organ/harpsichord, 2 works
f) violin and organ/harpsichord, 1 work
g) harpsichord/pianoforte, 3 works

Most widely played on concert stages are the 2 violoncello concerts, the trumpet concert, 2 pianoforte/harpsichord concerts and two violin concerts. Some of the more representative recordings you will find below

1) The complete recording of the violin concerts with Giuliano Carmignola and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, next to the recording with Simon Standage and Trevor Pinnock is the measure of all things.

2) The violoncello concerts of Joseph Haydn are part of the standard repertoire of any cello virtuoso. Therefore recordings are so numerous that it is hard to make a choice. My private collection contains more than 20 recordings each of which have their individual qualities. After listening to them again and again I decided to offer you the recordings with Steven Isserlis and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under the direction of Sir Roger Norrington. However, you should listen to as many Haydn cello concerts as possible. You will come to love the instrument and its artists.

3) The horn concerts are not recorded that often, because you will not find as many good horn players as cellists. Nevertheless, the most important recordings in my opinion were realized by Barry Tuckwell and The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner, and Hermann Baumann with various orchestras. Finally I chose a more recent fantastic recording with Felix Klieser and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn under the direction of Ruben Gazarian.

4) As an attractive delicacy I'd like to commend to you the trumpet concert with Alison Balsom, a 15-minute pleasure, which nonetheless is quite demanding for the trumpet virtuoso. Let yourself be fascinated!

Section IV: Sonatas and pieces for pianoforte

Pianists of all generations recorded Haydn's sonatas and pieces for pianoforte with at least the same enthusiasm like those of the other Viennese classics. Among the recordings of recent years I recommend the complete recording realized by Ekaterina Derzhavina which is truly outstanding.

Ekaterina Derzhavina also recorded other pieces and variations by Joseph Haydn, this CD completes your collection of his piano compositions.

As an ideal supplement I'd like mention Andreas Staier who is a specialist for the interpretation of works for the pianoforte on historical instruments or authentic replicas. Andreas Staier recorded all sonatas by Joseph Haydn which are hardly available on the record market. Hence a personal recommendation for the last sonatas.

Section V: Oratorios

The two oratorios "The Creation" and "The Seasons" are without any doubt Haydn's masterworks which you will find accordingly frequently on the concert programmes around the world. Less known and frequent is Haydn's third oratorio "Il ritorno di Tobia" which does not have the same appeal as the two aforementioned ones for contemporary listeners, but it should be clearly recommended to all Haydn aficionados.
As is the case with masterworks, spirits divide on the valuation of the interpretations, and you will even find hardened fronts. Therefore I chose recordings of the three oratorios that (most probably) will convince any music-lover.

1) "Il ritorno di Tobia" with the Capella Augustina under the direction of Andreas Spering and the soloists Roberta Invernizzi, Sophie Karthäuser, and Ann Hallenberg.

2) "The Creation" in a truly moving recording with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio) under the direction of Leonard Bernstein and the soloists Judith Blegen, Lucia Popp, Thomas Moser, Kurt Moll, and Kurt Ollmann. Certainly this is not a "historically informed" recording, but for my ears it is absolutely exhilarating and hard to beat musically.

3) "The Seasons", an optimal performance by the Concentus Musicus Vienna under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the soloists Genia Kühmeier, Werner Güra, and Christian Gerhaher.

Section VI: Masses and liturgical compositions

Joseph Haydn wrote 14 masses, 23 minor liturgic compositions, "Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze" (The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross), a "Stabat Mater" and a "Libera Me".
The so called "great" masses Hob. XXII:9-14 were composed by Joseph Haydn at the request of Prince Nikolaus II Esterházy as commissioned works for Princess Maria Josepha Hermenegild to her name-days between 1796 and 1802. They carry popular surnames such as "Heiligmesse", "Paukenmesse", "Nelsonmesse", "Theresienmesse", "Schöpfungsmesse", and "Harmoniemesse".

1) There are some complete recordings of Haydn's masses which are but partly convincing. Therefore as an entry I chose the excellent recording of the "Paukenmesse" (Missa in tempore belli) which is absolutely perfect regarding the cast of artists as well as the sound quality. It was realized by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio) under the direction of Leonard Bernstein and the soloists Judith Blegen, Brigitte Fassbaender, Claes H. Ahnsjö, and Hans Sotin. Further recordings with Bernstein can be easily found.

2) Sir John Eliot Gardiner with his English Baroque Soloists realized a recording of the six "great" masses which can be really seen as a reference recording of these works. Of course, it is a completely different characteristic style compared to the recordings of Bernstein.

3) Haydn wrote a number of versions of the "Seven Last Words",
a) a version for orchestra in 1786,
b) an adaptation for string quartet in 1787,
c) a piano score in 1787, and
d) a vocal version (oratorio) for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, choir and orchestra in 1796.
I chose a recording of the original orchestra version, played by Le Concert des Nations under the direction of Jordi Savall.

Section VII: Operas and Incidental Music

Joseph Haydn wrote 13 operas which are passed on. Because of several reasons of stage history and contemporary musical aesthetic the operas are not very popular with conductors and directors, and consequently the audience.

1) Entirely unjustified, as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Tobias Moretti proved using as an example "Il Mondo Della Luna", performed in 2009.

2) Another proof of the strong stage presence of Haydn's operas was the performance of "Orlando Paladino" also staged in 2009 at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. The soloists were Marlis Petersen, Pietro Spagnoli, Tom Randle, Alexandrina Pendatchkaya, Magnus Staveland, Sunhae Im, and Victor Torres. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra played under the direction of René Jacobs.

3) And finally we have one of the queens of coloratura singing together with the ruler of period instruments, Cecilia Bartoli and Nikolaus Harnoncourt with the Concentus Musicus Vienna in a complete recording of the opera "Armida", and as further soloists Christoph Pregardien, Patricia Petibon, Oliver Widmer, and Scot Weir.