Sonatas Nos 35 and 39 were both published in 1780, in a set of six (35–39, plus No 20 in C minor) that inaugurated Haydn’s long relationship with the Viennese publisher Artaria. They were dedicated to the talented sisters Franziska and Maria Katherina von Auenbrugger, whose playing drew the admiration of both Leopold Mozart—never one to go overboard about fellow-musicians—and Haydn himself. Whereas all Haydn’s earlier sonatas were conceived essentially for harpsichord, the ‘Auenbrugger’ sonatas carried the designation ‘Per il Clavicembalo [harpsichord], o Forte Piano’, and call for the dynamic flexibility only possible on the newer instrument. By far the easiest of this disparate group, technically and expressively, is No 35 in C major, Haydn’s equivalent to Mozart’s famous C major ‘Sonate facile’, K545. In all three movements the material is simple in the extreme. Though shorn of Haydnesque surprises, the first movement has an insouciant charm, and characteristically evolves entirely from its tripping opening theme. After a decorous F major Adagio underpinned by rippling Alberti figuration, the sonata ends with a jocular minuet enclosing a brief C minor episode.
from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009