Ton Koopman, conductor
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
'Dear Sir! The French are honoured by immortal products of your genius, for numerous of them you composed especially for them. A great concert in Paris would not seem perfect if one did not hear one or two of your symphonies there.' When the Parisian 'Société académique des Enfants d'Apollon' wrote to Joseph Haydn with these words in 1807 to offer him an honorary membership, the 75-year-old had long been considered the greatest composer in the world. In the six 'Paris Symphonies', which are mentioned admiringly in the letter, he had set new standards - both personal and musical - in 1785/86 with audible pleasure. Esprit, charm, wit, variety, and surprise are all dispatched at the highest musical level - a mixture that is always instantly comprehensible and, indeed for that very reason, so ingenious. Having long demonstrated a special affinity with these works, Ton Koopman and his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra present four of the six symphonies in one evening.