HD-Vinyl 24/96 (MFP) Joseph Haydn – Symphonies No. 97 & 98 (Szell)

All thanks for this go to Lemarquis
Though he could be something of a tyrant as a conductor (cut as he was from the same cloth as Arturo Toscanini), there is no question that the twenty-four seasons that George Szell spent as the music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, from 1946 until his death in July 1970, molded that once-provincial ensemble into an orchestra that rivalled its counterparts in Vienna and Berlin. Franz Joseph Haydn was one of those composers he put a special emphasis on, as can be evidenced on this recording.

Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn
Orchestra: Cleveland Orchestra
Conductor: George Szell
Vinyl 1971
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: MFP
DR-Analysis: DR12
Size: 1.14 GB
Scan: yes

There was a time, in the not-too-distant past, when there were conductors who were giants. Amongst those who were active in the last half of the 20th Century, those included such luminaries as Karajan, Klemperer, Boult, Monteux, Munch, Solti, Bernstein, Dorati, Ormandy, Reiner, Mravinsky, Stokowski, Beecham, Walter, Kubelik and Szell. [Toscanini and Furtwangler could have been included, but neither conducted after 1954, so they barely made it into the last half of the 20th Century. There are a number of others who might be included, such as Levine, Jochum, and Kertesz.]

There are a number of conductors who are missing from the list who might be unjustly not included, but the list was not intended to be all-inclusive. Among these conductors, some, such as Karajan, Bernstein and Solti, were the subject of much publicity, others not so much. Of all these conductors, my favorite is George Szell.

There are those detractors who claim that he was a “martinet,” as if he were interested in discipline for discipline’s sake, as opposed to serving the music. I had the privilege of attending a number of Szell concerts, in Cleveland, New York, and Salzburg, as well as listening to most of his recordings. To me, listening to a Szell performance was a special event to be savored. His performances were highly disciplined and precise and one can hear things in a Szell performance which are not audible in the music-making of other conductors. I never heard a Szell performance which was slap-dash, sloppy, lacking in precision or boring.

At the same time, when listening to the performances, they were anything but mechanical. Szell always brought out special touches. Another reviewer of these symphonies cited the blast of a bassoon in the second movement of the Symphony No. 93. It literally startles the listener in a manner which reflects Haydn’s bawdy humor, but which is missing in most other conductors’ performances. In many other conductors’ performances, Haydn seems to be an old man, a/k/a “Papa Haydn.”

With Szell, Haydn is vigorous and filled with all sorts of witty and jocular elements which bring a special joy to his music.


  Symphony No. 97 In C Major  
A1 I. Adagio; Vivace 8:48
A2 II. Adagio Ma Non Troppo 9:34
A3 III. Menuetto And Trio: Allegretto 4:15
A4 IV. Presto Assai 5:17
  Symphony No. 98 In B-Flat Major  
B1 I. Adagio; Allegro 8:39
B2 II. Adagio Cantabile 6:09
B3 III. Menuet And Trio: Allegro 5:53
B4 IV. Presto 6:09

Analyzed folder: /96k Haydn – Symphonies 97, 98 – Szell
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR12        -1.16 dB     -17.66 dB     A1 Symphony No. 97 In C Major – I. Adagio, Vivace.aif
DR14        -1.93 dB     -21.44 dB     A2 Symphony No. 97 In C Major – II. Adagio Ma Non Troppo.aif
DR11        -1.56 dB     -16.65 dB     A3 Symphony No. 97 In C Major – III. Menuetto And Trio- Allegretto.aif
DR12        -1.21 dB     -17.19 dB     A4 Symphony No. 97 In C Major – IV. Presto Assai.aif
DR13        -1.47 dB     -18.01 dB     B1 Symphony No. 98 In B-Flat Major – I. Adagio, Allegro.aif
DR12        -3.12 dB     -19.69 dB     B2 Symphony No. 98 In B-Flat Major – II. Adagio Cantabile.aif
DR13        -1.34 dB     -18.56 dB     B3 Symphony No. 98 In B-Flat Major – III. Menuet And Trio- Allegro.aif
DR12        -1.56 dB     -17.75 dB     B4 Symphony No. 98 In B-Flat Major – IV. Presto.aif
Number of files:    8
Official DR value:    DR12


  • Composed By – Franz Joseph Haydn
  • Conductor – George Szell
  • Cover – Ron Coro
  • Engineer – Edward T. Graham, Milton Cherin
  • Orchestra – Cleveland Orchestra
  • Producer – Andrew Kazdin

Ripping Info


  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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14 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/96 (MFP) Joseph Haydn – Symphonies No. 97 & 98 (Szell)

  1. Szell really brings out the best in Haydn and the Cleveland Orchestra is as full sounding as ever 🙂
    Many thanks Alf for another excellent capture of this great work 😀

  2. To speak in what some would call hyperbole, “this Szell/Cleveland/Haydn 97/98 album” is “SUPERSONIC” in every respect!
    danke schön!!!


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