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Hyperion Records

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Jacob's Dream by Frans (II) Franken (1581-1642)
Museo de Santa Cruz, Toledo, Spain / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67757
Recording details: February 2009
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: October 2009
Total duration: 15 minutes 31 seconds

'The Florestans display their customary virtuosity, elegance and caprice in these outwardly easy-going works, once again capturing the full (and deceptively wide) emotional range of what may appear on the surface to be merely domestic entertainment music … a highlight of the year' (Gramophone)

'The Florestans … relish the degree to which Haydn constantly challenges his listeners with unexpected turns of phrase and audacious modulations … the first movement of Hob XV:30 is presented as a truly expansive Allegro moderato with bold dramatic gestures that project the work as almost Beethovenian in character … violinist Anthony Marwood shapes the expressive melody with almost Schubertian warmth … these warmly recorded performances offer plenty of musical insight and deserve a positive recommendation' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Haydn … would have admired Susan Tomes' quick wit and dexterity … this is Haydn stimulated by instrument and player into some of his most original music, obviously relishing the unusual textures, which are paid proper respect by the attentive recording as well as by the players … this is all brilliant ensemble playing by thoughtful and enthusiastic as well as skilful performers' (International Record Review)

'The Florestans play with a spring in their fingers Haydn's last four piano trios dating from the mid-1790s' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Susan Tomes is superb in these works; her fluid pianism is a joy to hear, beautiful in tone, crisp in articulation. Violinist Anthony Marwood and cellist Richard Lester are on her level, and the tightly knit ensemble delivers a full, rich sound along with lightning-fast reactions to Haydn’s many twists and turns' (La Folia, USA)

Piano Trio in E flat major, Hob XV:29
published in London in 1797; dedicated to Therese Jansen

Poco allegretto  [7'19]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Trio in E flat major Hob XV:29 is a work full of character and humour. The first movement is like a march, but with an almost mock-ecclesiastical air, and with its dignity punctuated by sudden accents and flourishes. A middle section moves into the minor, and becomes more serious and lyrical, allowing the violin to expand with a melody of its own. When the march returns, it is subjected to Haydn’s favourite variation techniques. The decoration becomes more and more elaborate, moving further and further from the mock-simplicity of the original. Just when the march seems to have run its course, Haydn adds a substantial coda, in which the music is pulled towards a remote and strange area, before recovering itself for a final show of self-confidence. For the slow movement, Haydn shifts down a major third to B major. The gently rocking, expansive melody gives the impression that Haydn might be settling down to quite a long movement—as Beethoven had done in his recently published Op 1 piano trios. But all of a sudden he takes a turn back by a subtle succession of modulations to the trio’s opening key of E flat, and the piano launches unexpectedly into the finale. This a triple-time ‘German Dance’. At first its mood is genial, but there are moments of truculent stamping, and suggestions of gypsy fiddles and a hurdy-gurdy. A central episode explores some of the dance’s motifs in a surprisingly serious manner. And even when the main theme returns, there are several sudden changes of direction, mood-swings, and further elaborations, before Haydn brings the dance to an end with a final twist of the hurdy-gurdy.

from notes by Robert Philip © 2009

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