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CD Review

Franz Joseph Haydn

Piano Concertos

  • Concerto for Piano in D Major, Hob.XVIII/2
  • Concerto for Piano in F Major, Hob.XVIII/3
  • Concerto for Piano in E Major, Hob.XVIII/4
  • Concerto for Piano in D Major, Hob.XVIII/11
Ronald Brautigam, fortepiano
Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrik Mortensen
BIS-CD-1318 76mins
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Sheer delight!

Only the D Major, Hob.XVIII/11 has been known to me for many decades (Wanda Landowska's irresistible verve on harpsichord) but this brings the newer historical knowledge to bear, marvelously realized by Brautigam and Mortensen, with the expert period instrument group Concerto Copenhagen. Balance is perfectly natural, the fortepiano a little quiet for even a small period orchestra, as is so inevitably in live performance too. The slow movement is duly affecting between the fast Vivace and sparkling Rondo all'Ungarese.

The other authentic keyboard concertos of Haydn here (the rest of the twenty-one of them were for organ and often played during Mass - not so austere as in northern Germany!) are unaccountably overlooked. Haydn did not play them himself and the notes writer speculates that he did not seek to compete with Mozart in that area.

Copyright © 2005, Peter Grahame Woolf