11 Piano Sonatas (4 CDs) (Brendel

By: Classical Music  05/12/2011
Keywords: classical music

Incredibly, Haydn is almost belittled, today. His string quartets are played for warm-up practice, before the Schönberg can be attacked. While Bach, Mozart and Beethoven have been established as the greatest ever, Haydn has been reduced to an insider tip. In his day, though, he was considered the greatest composer to ever have lived. As he lay dying, even Napoleon took a break from devastating Europe in the name of freedom, equality and brotherhood, and posted a guard of honor in front of Haydn's home in Vienna.

The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between. Few of Haydn's works achieved the level of Bach's, Mozart's and Beethoven's finest. But he does form the missing link between those three composers, and this fact is most apparent in his piano sonatas.
It was Haydn, who took the legacy of Bach and his sons, and created the categories and genres of classical music which we take for granted today. And it was him, of course, who as a teacher of both Mozart and Beethoven shaped the aesthetic perception of either man. The piano sonatas, more than any other works of Haydn's, obviously form the missing link between JSB and the great Viennese composers. There are the organized, intellectual qualities of Bach, the serene, accessible melodies of Mozart's and the nobility of Beethoven's works for the piano, all present at the same time. This is gorgeous music indeed. If you are excited about the piano (keyboard) works of Bach, Mozart and/or Beethoven, you owe it to yourself to look into the works of Haydn, too.
This box contains most of the works which modern research still attributes to Haydn, and they are performed excellently by Brendel. In fact, his intellectual, understated approach may work best with this material. Outstanding in every way (and that includes recording quality). Track listing:

CD 1
1. Piano Sonata in C minor, H.XVI No.20 - 1. Moderato
2. Piano Sonata in C minor, H.XVI No.20 - 2. Andante con moto
3. Piano Sonata in C minor, H.XVI No.20 - 3. Finale (Allegro)
4. Piano Sonata in E flat, H.XVI No.49 - 1. Allegro
5. Piano Sonata in E flat, H.XVI No.49 - 2. Adagio e cantabile
6. Piano Sonata in E flat, H.XVI No.49 - 3. Finale (Tempo di minuetto)

CD 2
1. Piano Sonata in E minor, H.XVI No.34 - 1. Presto
2. Piano Sonata in E minor, H.XVI No.34 - 2. Adagio
3. Piano Sonata in E minor, H.XVI No.34 - 3. Vivace molto, innocentemente
4. Piano Sonata in B minor, H.XVI No.32 - 1. Allegro moderato
5. Piano Sonata in B minor, H.XVI No.32 - 2. Menuet (Tempo di menuet)
6. Piano Sonata in B minor, H.XVI No.32 - 3. Finale (Presto)
7. Piano Sonata in D, H.XVI No.42 - 1. Andante con espressione
8. Piano Sonata in D, H.XVI No.42 - 2. Vivace assai
9. Fantasia In C, H.XVII No.4
10. Adagio In F, H.XVII No.9 CD 3
1. Piano Sonata in C, H.XVI No.48 - 1. Andante con espressione
2. Piano Sonata in C, H.XVI No.48 - 2. Rondo (Presto)
3. Piano Sonata in D, H.XVI No.51 - 1. Andante
4. Piano Sonata in D, H.XVI No.51 - 2. Finale (Presto) 1
5. Piano Sonata in C, H.XVI No.50 - 1. Allegro
6. Piano Sonata in C, H.XVI No.50 - 2. Adagio
7. Piano Sonata in C, H.XVI No.50 - 3. Allegro molto CD 4
1. Piano Sonata in E flat, H.XVI No.52 - 1. Allegro
2. Piano Sonata in E flat, H.XVI No.52 - 2. Adagio
3. Piano Sonata in E flat, H.XVI No.52 - 3. Finale (Presto)
4. Piano Sonata in G, H.XVI No.40 - 1. Allegretto e innocente
5. Piano Sonata in G, H.XVI No.40 - 2. Presto
6. Piano Sonata in D, H.XVI No.37 - 1. Allegro con brio
7. Piano Sonata in D, H.XVI No.37 - 2. Largo e sostenuto
8. Piano Sonata in D, H.XVI No.37 - 3. Finale (Presto, ma non troppo)
9. Andante Con Variazoni In F Minor, H.XVII No.6

Keywords: classical music

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