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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: 5 minutes 40 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)

Fantasia in C major 'Capriccio', Hob XVII:4
composer
March 1789; based on the Austrian folksong Do Bäuren hat d'Katz valor'n

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In March 1789, Haydn wrote to Artaria: ‘In a moment of great good humour I have completed a new Capriccio for fortepiano, whose taste, singularity and special construction cannot fail to receive approval from connoisseurs and amateurs alike. It is … rather long, but by no means too difficult.’ The work in question—harder to play than Haydn implied—was the one we know as the Fantasia in C major. Based on an Austrian folksong, Do Bäuren hat d’Katz valor’n (‘The farmer’s wife has lost her cat’), this madcap 3/8 Presto is a work of scintillating virtuosity, full of quasi-orchestral effects (such as the horn calls in a prominent cadential phrase) that recall the finale of sonata No 48. It is also one of Haydn’s zaniest essays in comic deception, repeatedly leading us to expect one key and then leaping or slinking off in a quite different direction.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009

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