Review: Handel and Haydn Society’s first performance of Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3

Posted on: November 9, 2021

“On Friday evening at Symphony Hall, the French conductor Laurence Equilbey made her H+H debut with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra’s first ever performance of music by [Louise] Farrenc, who was 10 years old at the time the Handel and Haydn Society was founded in 1815,” writes A.Z. Madonna in Monday’s (11/8) Boston Globe. “With Insula Orchestra, the France-based period instrument ensemble she founded in 2012, Equilbey has been carrying the torch for Farrenc and other neglected women composers for several years…. It was Equilbey’s idea to pair Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3 with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, ‘Pastoral,’ on this past weekend’s program…. The orchestra greeted Farrenc’s symphony like an old friend…. Clarinetist Eric Hoeprich introduced the lullaby-like second movement with a languid, liquid solo…. Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky mustered the strings through the third movement’s twisty, speedy scherzo…. The unaffected and deeply nuanced performance was perhaps the best case that could have been made for Farrenc’s full inclusion in the canon…. [In] Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 … timpanist Jonathan Hess conjured a violently rattling thunderstorm that made several audience members jump in their seats, before the tender hymn of the finale cast a golden light over everything.”