For its final foray of the year, specialist group the Australian Haydn Ensemble chose works by its young hero composer designed to impress his new boss, the wealthy Hungarian Prince Paul Anton von Esterházy who had offered the 29-year-old the job of vice-kapellmeister in the palace of Eisenstadt.
Haydn had at his disposal a crack orchestra of 17 members, including virtuosi in violinist Luigi Tomasini and cellist Joseph Weigl, as well as brilliant wind, brass and percussion players from the Prince’s regiment. His patron loved music which told a tale (he had an edition of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons in his library) so Haydn wrote three works tied to the times of the day – his Symphonies Nos. 6-8 Le Matin, Le Midi and Le Soir.
These works, with their democratically distributed solo moments showing off the skills of the Prince’s players, made for a refreshingly light and airy programme led by Artistic Director Skye McIntosh to close the AHE’s 12th season – a year which has seen it undertake its first US tour, playing the Carnegie Hall in New York and at the opening of Australia’s new embassy in Washington DC.