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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: 17 minutes 24 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:33
possibly as early as 1773; first published, without Haydn's knowledge, by Beardmore & Birchall of London in 1783

Allegro  [7'51]
Adagio  [5'12]
Tempo di menuet  [4'21]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
With most of the autographs lost, the exact dating of Haydn’s sonatas is often speculative. Although it was first published (without Haydn’s knowledge) by the London firm of Beardmore & Birchall in 1783, the D major sonata No 33 was circulating in manuscript copies several years earlier, and could even date from as early as 1773. While modest in its technical demands (a contemporary reviewer remarked that Haydn seemed to have taken special care to make it easy), it is a thoroughly delightful piece. Its opening Allegro, launched by a ‘rocketing’ arpeggio figure, begins in prompt, no-nonsense style, but later develops a vein of waywardness with its whimsical hesitations and pauses. The second movement is a gravely eloquent D minor Adagio that combines the outlines of sonata form with the spirit of a free fantasia. As with many of C P E Bach’s slow movements, the music never comes to a full close but dissolves into the finale, a minuet that varies in turn a pair of related themes, one in the major, the other in the minor.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009

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