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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67882
Recording details: August 2011
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: June 2012
Total duration: 12 minutes 29 seconds

'The playing is outstanding for its crystalline tone, springy rhythms, lively tempos and integral handling of ornamentation. Hyperion's recording of the modern Steinway is cleanly focused … Hamelin is often at his most brilliant where Haydn is at his most eccentric … a sparkling collection' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The most immediately striking feature of the set is the unfailingly superb, crystalline clarity of Hamelin's sound … the performances are next to flawless' (International Record Review)

Piano Sonata in G minor, Hob XVI:44

Moderato  [8'29]
Allegretto  [4'00]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Roughly contemporary with the string quartets of Op 17 and Op 20, No 44 and No 20 are the earliest works Haydn designated ‘sonata’ rather than ‘divertimento’. Both recreate the spirit of Emanuel Bach’s Empfindsamkeit in terms of Haydn’s own more dynamic, ‘goal-oriented’ idiom. No 44 in G minor, in just two movements, exudes a melancholy intimacy unique among his sonatas. Its opening movement, permeated by the main theme’s initial triplet upbeat, rises to a magnificent, densely textured contrapuntal climax in the development; and the delicately ornamental G minor/major minuet sublimates galant gestures into pure pathos. Haydn embellishes the repeat of the G minor section, à la Emanuel Bach, and then introduces a truncated version of the G major trio (itself a variant of the G minor theme) as a coda.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2012

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