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The Boston Globe


music review

Exuberant program puts the spotlight on Haydn

Haydn’s symphonies have such delightful nicknames — “Hen,” “Palindrome,” “Schoolmaster” — that it’s disappointing to learn he wasn’t responsible for any of them. But that doesn’t make the works themselves any less delightful. Two of them, No. 6, “Le matin,” and No. 82, “The Bear,” turn up on the Handel and Haydn Society’s exuberant “Haydn in Paris” program this weekend, flanking his Violin Concerto in G and the overture to his opera “L’isola disabitata.”

Actually, “Haydn in Paris” seems a misnomer. “The Bear,” from 1786, was the last of his six Paris-commissioned symphonies. But “Le matin” dates from 1761, the violin concerto from 1769 (or perhaps earlier), and the opera from 1779. What matters, though, is that Handel and Haydn’s artistic director, Harry Christophers, is giving this composer a rare, and thoroughly deserved, evening to himself.

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