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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Portrait of Joseph Haydn engraved by F A Andorff by Carl Jäger
The Cobbe Collection Trust, UK / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67710
Recording details: August 2008
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: August 2009
Total duration: 11 minutes 50 seconds

'One of the outstanding releases of the Haydn celebratory year' (International Record Review)

'A marvellously polished collection of performances … he is a model of correctness, with enough wit, exuberance and the most exquisite lightness of touches to keep the music buoyant' (The Guardian)

'Hamelin is most associated with virtuoso fireworks for piano, but he can also miniaturise himself exquisitely to suit Haydn's wit and elegance … the spring in his fingers is delightful' (The Times)

'As always, Haydn's originality astonishes and delights in his piano music as much as in his symphonies and string quartets. Hamelin revels in the tongue-in-cheek high jinks of the finale to the E minor sonata (No 34) … and is especially compelling in the great C major (No 48) … works that rank with the finest creations of the Viennese Classical period. An unmissable bargain at two-discs-for-the-price of one' (The Sunday Times)

'The continuous outpouring of beautiful tone; it's mesmerizing … these performances are beyond criticism' (Fanfare, USA)

'They sound absolutely superb, in the right hands, on the modern grand piano. And Marc-André Hamelin has the right hands, as his first two-disc set showed … playing of crisp clarity and deep feeling, superbly recorded' (Dominion Post, New Zealand)

'This Hyperion double set contains some of the finest performances of Haydn sonatas I have heard. Hamelin's playing overflows with ardent lyricism and I especially enjoyed his naturalness of rubato. The close sound quality from the Henry Wood Hall is impressive and the booklet essay by Richard Wigmore is helpful too' (MusicWeb International)

Piano Sonata in D major, Hob XVI:42
one of a set of three sonatas published in 1784 by Bossler and dedicated to Princess Marie Hermenegild to mark her marriage the previous year to Prince Nicolaus Esterházy

Vivace assai  [2'46]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Published in 1784 by the firm of Bossler, the sonata triptych Nos 40–42 was dedicated, perhaps as a wedding gift, to the sixteen-year-old Princess Marie Hermenegild Esterházy, who the previous year had married Haydn’s future patron Prince Nicolaus II. For all their surface lightness, all three sonatas—later published in arrangements (probably not by Haydn) for string trio—are sophisticated, subtly wrought works. No 42 opens with a set of increasingly florid variations on a gracious theme punctuated by rhetorical silences. The effect here is of heightened speech. Despite its air of insouciance, the quicksilver finale is another of Haydn’s tightly concentrated movements, developing the two phrases of its theme in sinewy imitative textures, right down to the witty, throwaway end.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009

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