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CD Review

Franz Joseph Haydn

Hyperion 67554

Sonatas for Piano

  • Piano Sonata #32 in G minor, Hob. XVI:44
  • Piano Sonata #37 in E Major, Hob. XVI:22
  • Piano Sonata #40 in E Flat Major, Hob. XVI:25
  • Piano Sonata #41 in A Major, Hob. XVI:26
  • Piano Sonata #43 in E Flat Major, Hob. XVI:28
  • Piano Sonata #46 in E Major, Hob. XVI:31
  • Piano Sonata #50 in D Major, Hob. XVI:37
  • Piano Sonata #51 in E Flat Major, Hob. XVI:38
  • Piano Sonata in B Major, Hob. XVI:2c [fragment]
  • Piano Sonata in B Flat Major, Hob. XVI:2d [fragment]
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Hyperion CDA67554 2CDs 145m DDD
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This is a most delightful collection of piano sonatas from the considerable number that Haydn put down on paper and with Marc-André Hamelin at the helm, enjoyment is definitely guaranteed. He selects 10 sonatas from different epochs ranging from the short #40 and 41 to the more expansive #46 and 51.

There is little really to criticize in these shiny and energetic performances although John McCabe on Decca with his complete 8CD set still remains essential listening in these works. However Hamelin has a way with the finales, creating a sense of astonishing virtuosity and hell bent for leather momentum that is rather invigorating on all counts.

Hyperion's recording is as usual excellent with a proper focus given to the piano without making it sound overtly domineering or presumptuous. Richard Wigmore's copiously detailed notes are essential reading for the discerning Haydn scholar and thus I have nothing left to add but a wholehearted recommendation for this rather excellent double CD set which incidentally is tantalizingly offered for the price of one.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech

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