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Hyperion Records

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The Gypsy Tent by William Shayer (1811-1892)
© Wolverhampton Art Gallery / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67719
Recording details: March 2008
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: February 2009
Total duration: 15 minutes 11 seconds

'Tomes and her partners identify themselves fully with the emotional scale of the works … there is so much from the Florestan to stop us in our tracks … a very special disc, recorded in detailed, front-row sound' (Gramophone)

'These are altogether lively and alert performances, with repeats imaginatively varied, and a real feel for the subtle balance of the music' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Four of Haydn's later trios, including the familiar 'Gypsy Rondo', are played here by the Florestan Trio with a captivating grace' (The Observer)

'The articulation of Susan Tomes and her colleagues is alert and imaginative, with a 'period-instrument' feel for texture, effortlessly capturing Haydn's mercurial wit' (The Sunday Times)

'The Florestan is the ultimate in gentility and grace … the playing, interpretation, and recorded sound are perfection; every note, every phrase, every balance is beyond criticism' (Fanfare, USA)

'It is a pleasure to hear the Florestans strike their expected and convincing balance. They are a Haydnesque ensemble in the very best sense' (NewClassics.com)

'It would be hard to find crisper performances of Haydn's piano trios. The Florestan Trio is not a period instrument ensemble, but it never makes us wish it were, for these musicians don't play Haydn as if it were Beethoven or Schubert. The interpretations are articulate, stylish and vivid; accents spit and tingle; and passagework whizzes sharp and serrated as a saw blade. They take risks: some fast movements move at blistering speeds, and the exaggerated upbeats and shifts in tempo make their free-wheeling Gypsy Rondo sound like the real thing. Slow movements sing, and the balance—so crucial in these trios—is heavenly' (The Globe and Mail, Canada)

'This first volume in a projected series of the complete Haydn piano trios promises many future delights. The performances are, by and large, excellent … kudos particularly are in order for pianist Susan Tomes. These are keyboard works first and foremost, and she leads with great sensitivity and elegance' (ClassicsToday.com)

'What comes through vividly here is Haydn’s capacity to surprise; and the discovery of the music is in listening to them. Suffice it to say that the music’s essential grace, lightness and sparkle is affectionately captured by the members of The Florestan Trio, who are also alive to the musical and emotional diversions that Haydn imaginatively and wittily incorporates … with excellent recorded sound and an illuminating booklet note by Robert Philip, this release offers much joy' (ClassicalSource.com)

Piano Trio in D major, Hob XV:24
composer
No 38; dedicated to Rebecca Schroeter

Allegro  [10'14]
Andante  [2'27]

Other recordings available for download
London Fortepiano Trio
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Following the death of his employer, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, Haydn was free to accept an invitation to visit London for the first time in 1791, where he and his music were rapturously received. While he was in London he gave music lessons to Rebecca Schroeter, the widow of a composer. They developed an intimate relationship, and touching letters from Mrs Schroeter to Haydn survive. On one occasion she wrote: ‘No language can express half the Love and affection I feel for you, you are Dearer to me every Day of my life.’ Haydn kept her letters into his old age, admitting to one of his biographers that she was ‘a beautiful and lovable woman, whom I would very readily have married if I had been free then’ (Haydn, a warm and passionate man, had been locked in a cold and loveless marriage for thirty years). During his second visit to London in 1794–5, Haydn dedicated to Rebecca Schroeter three trios, Hob XV:24–26.

Among Haydn’s later trios, the Piano Trio in D major Hob XV:24 is unusual in being consistently serious in tone, with almost Beethoven-like earnestness. The first movement is on quite a large scale, full of pauses and surprises, sudden offbeat accents and bursts of energy—just the effects that Beethoven was beginning to exploit. The writing for piano makes full use of the English grand pianos Haydn had got to know, with rich chords, bold octaves in the bass and much brilliant elaboration above. The brief second movement is built from an anxious little dotted-rhythm figure, which has the air of a solemn dance. It leads without a break into the finale. This looks, on paper, somewhat like a minuet. But the triple-time is continually disguised and subverted by the interplay between the instruments, and by successions of phrases two beats long. The overall impression is less of a dance and more of a rather worried conversation, which finally comes to an unexpected end as if the speakers had walked off through the door, still talking.

from notes by Robert Philip © 2009


Other albums featuring this work
'Haydn: Piano Trios Nos 38-40' (CDA66297)
Haydn: Piano Trios Nos 38-40
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