Musically, this is a tall drink of water, but because it's a 45 rpm supercut it runs a TT of only 27 minutes. At $40, this timing may be difficult to swallow. Yet, this new LP from Linn Records is a shining gem and will work for both audiophiles and lovers of great Haydn performances.
I read about conductor Robin Ticciati on Facebook where he has many admirers who play in the very best orchestras. I first heard his work on the Linn set of Schumann Symphonies. We've had two very fine sets recently -- Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle and Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Both offer superlative playing with very musical interpretations. Rattle and Nézet-Séguin are two of the more thoughtful conductors with very musical ideas. Add Ticciati to the list. HIs Schumann matched both on musical grounds, better in sonics but slightly less so on execution.
This Haydn 'Clock' Symphony recording is sourced from Edinburgh's wonderful Usher Hall and like the Schumann set, is performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the quality of their playing after the wonderful work provided them by the late, great Sir Charles Mackerras. Ticciati has been music director of the SCO since 2009.
The SCO's playing is crisp with wonderful ensemble and lovely solo work. Ticciati gets the instrumental balances of the great symphony perfectly, especially difficult in the typically slow opening common in Haydn's symphonies.
The vinyl is super clean, super quiet. Supercut. You play this LP on any good analogue setup (don't forget to switch to 45 rpm), and you'll be enthralled at what vinyl can do in comparison with digital. I heard a little midrange congestion in the first few bars, but that could be due to mould agent on virgin vinyl. After that, clear sailing. The strings, violins especially, sounded divine. Flesh and bone on strings in a wonderful ambiance. Vinyl gets the sound of violins and player separation brilliantly. If you are heavy into streaming and have a large collection of CDs, for God's sake don't listen to this LP.
Linn's founder, Ivor Tiefenbrun uses his corporate ID 'The Only Sound' to describe his products. Well, that's bloody nonsense. But I can imagine him listening to his company's LPs on his perfectly tuned LP12 turntable and feeling incredibly smug. As such, this LP will be a wonderful addition to your vinyl library.