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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: 15 minutes 33 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 C sharp minor, Hob XVI:36
published in 1780 by Artaria of Vienna; dedicated to Franziska and Maria Katherina von Auenbrugger

Moderato  [8'35]
Menuet: Moderato  [3'45]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Issued early in 1780 with the C minor, No 20, the five sonatas Nos 35–39 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 dish out compliments lightly—and Haydn himself. Designated, for the first time, ‘for harpsichord, or forte-piano’, and often calling for the dynamic flexibility only possible on the newer instrument, these ‘Auenbrugger’ sonatas are as disparate in style as the 1776 set (Nos 27–32). The finest is No 36, in the rare and ‘extreme’ key of C sharp minor, though unlike the unremittingly serious C minor Sonata, No 20, it juxtaposes severe and ‘popular’ styles. The first movement develops the two limbs of its sole theme—a brusque forte unison and a soft, ‘pathetic’ response—with an almost Beethovenian trenchancy. Coming between this and the finale, a slow minuet of exquisite, refined melancholy with an assuaging C sharp major trio, the perky A major Scherzando (whose tune Haydn pilfered for Sonata No 39) seems like a facetious interloper.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2012

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