The year 2017 was a vintage one for Giovanni Antonini: he was awarded an Echo Klassik, two Gramophone Awards and a Diapason d’Or of the Year for his recent releases. Two of these prizes distinguished Il Distratto, volume 4 of the complete recording of the Haydn symphonies on which he embarked for Alpha in 2014. For the sixth volume, released in 2018, the Milanese conductor is again joined by the Kammerorchester Basel, which shares the project with Il Giardino Armonico and which he knows very well, since he conducts it regularly and they have made many recordings together, including volume 5 of the Haydn series. This volume focuses on symphonies with a ‘sacred’ inspiration: the Symphony No.26, ‘Lamentatione’, was composed in 1768 for Holy Week, and no.30 was nicknamed ‘Alleluja’ after the plainchant melody Haydn uses in it. Symphony No.41 was written in 1769.

Presto Classical Recording of the week award Presto Classical recording of the year nominee award

"There seems little need to rehearse again my admiration for the musicianship on show in this series. This is playing of a class that has often been denied Haydn, so frequently the victim of cynical rehearse/record schedules."
Gramophone
"You can't go wrong with a smattering of Haydn symphonies and, as expected, each one is a gem of interlocking melodies and buoyant rhythms…you can hear Antonini and the Kammerorchester Basel squeeze out every inch of emotion (the collection is subtitled 'Lamentation' for a reason). (Album of the Week)"
Classic FM
"There is no hint of the rehearse-record routine about the first six volumes, which he treats as “thematic programmes” built around the works with titles...It is electrifying: bracing in the allegros, never dawdling in slow movements."
Sunday Times
"Antonini’s way with Haydn is engagingly lithe and buoyant, midway between elegance and bravura, and rendered by the Kammerorchester Basel, playing here on period instruments, with eager concentration."
Financial Times