The Battle of the Nile
ASV Gaudeamus CD GAU 219
Texts & Translations included
Total Playing Time: 76:21

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732 - 1809)
The Battle of the Nile
Keyboard Trios Nos. 18 & 19

The Four Nations Ensemble
Andrew Appel, fortepiano & director
Ryan Brown, violin
Loretta O'Sullivan, cello
Anna Monoyios, soprano
Nils Brown, tenor


Keyboard Trio No. 19 (Sonata) in G minor (1794)
Two Italian Duets (1796)
    - Senti qui
    - Guarda qui
Andante with Variations in F minor (1793)
The Spirit's Song (1800)
The Battle of the Nile (1800)
Keyboard Trio No. 18 (Sonata) in A (1794)

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"Among the real treats of this disc, though, are the all-too-brief Two Italian Duets, superbly sung by Ann Monoyios and Nils Brown, who actually sound as though they were having a lot of fun recording this together. The agile soprano simply floats over the arabesque-like (and none too easy) figures that Haydn demands of her, particularly in the first duet ("Senti qui"). She even manages to spin gold out of the flossy Battle of the Nile..."
--- Anastasia Tsioulcas,

"This disc is packed full of goodies...sheer unadulterated pleasure. I can't praise this recording enough. Buy it at once!"
--- Early Music Review

"..this is a delightful record..." --- International Record Review
This CD marks the start of a series setting Haydn's Keyboard Trios in attractive chamber concerts alongside a range of vocal and instrumental works.

Having already given us enterprising discs of Schobert Sonatas and of Handel compared and contrasted to Porpora and Vivaldi, the remarkable Four Nations Ensemble now embark on what promising to be a fascinating series revealing aspects of the genius of Haydn.

The core of the project is Haydn's mature Keyboard Trios. These wonderfully rich works, unlike those of Mozart or Beethoven, place the keyboard at the centre of the ensemble with accompanying instruments used for color and resonance. Only using original instruments, as here, can the subtle delights of Haydn's balanced "orchestration" be revealed. The two selected for the first release, No.18 in A and No.19 in G minor, present a panorama of variety; they took the form of the accompanied sonata to its peak of perfection.

Director Andrew Appel, who is masterminding the series, juxtaposes the Trios with other Haydn works, vocal and instrumental, so that each disc forms an attractive chamber concert. Most intriguing of these is the cantata The Battle of the Nile, which Haydn wrote in celebration of Lord Nelson's famous victory. At its premiere Nelson's mistress Lady Hamilton sang to Haydn's own accompaniment. Here it is soprano Ann Monoyios who delights with a rarity that is not otherwise in the catalogue.
The other vocal items are two deliciously witty, yet rarely heard chamber duets on Italian texts, and the popular, ghostly canzonetta The Spirit's Song. Appel also gives us a keyboard masterpiece that is not currently in the catalogue, with the Andante & Variations in F minor.

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