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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: 19 minutes 0 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' (

'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' (

'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' (

Piano Trio in C major, Hob XV:27
published in London in 1797; dedicated to Therese Jansen

Allegro  [7'48]
Andante  [4'39]
Presto  [6'33]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Hob XV:27 in C major is the first of a set of three trios dedicated to Therese Jansen, and published in London in 1797, after Haydn had returned to Vienna. Therese Jansen was another pianist whom Haydn had met during his two visits to London. In 1795, at the age of twenty-five, she married Gaetano Bartolozzi, an art dealer and son of a well-known engraver, and Haydn was a witness at their wedding. Far from being a mere amateur pianist like most of Haydn’s patrons, she was one of Clementi’s best pupils, with a great reputation as a teacher, though she did not have a career as a public performer. Haydn also dedicated to her two of his most important solo piano sonatas, in E flat and C major. This trio, with its virtuoso piano-writing, suggests that she was a very fine performer.

The first movement is a substantial Allegro with a piano part of ceaseless activity: elaborate figurations and grace notes, rapid octaves, sudden contrasts of mood, key, register and dynamics. Once more, Haydn shows off the full capabilities of the English grand pianos, with their full tone and impressive bass register (Therese Jansen must certainly have owned one). As a complement to the elaboration of the piano part, Haydn gives the violinist considerably more independence than in most ‘accompanied sonatas’, with frequent passages of dialogue between piano and violin. The same is true of the slow movement, an Andante which begins gently, but is increasingly decorated with florid division and ornamentation by both piano and violin. Like the first movement, it is full of surprising changes of mood and colour. A central episode becomes brusque, with insistent accents on the main beats that evoke the rustic Hungarian music on which Haydn often drew. After two rather densely written movements, the finale comes as a complete contrast. It is as light as a feather, its perky main theme observed from all possible angles, and the witty banter culminating in a delightfully abrupt ending.

from notes by Robert Philip © 2009

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