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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: 17 minutes 8 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 F major, Hob XVI:29
1774; published in manuscript in 1776

Moderato  [7'49]
Adagio  [5'17]
Tempo di menuet  [4'02]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The group of sonatas Nos 27–32 was published privately in manuscript copies in 1776, though No 29 in F major dates from two years earlier. More than anything in the ‘Esterházy’ sonatas, the first movement of No 29, with its comic false starts and wildly disparate textures and rhythmic patterns, might be dubbed a ‘burlesque’ of C P E Bach. Underlying its waywardness, though, is Haydn’s mastery of long-range sonata strategy, right through to a recapitulation that continues to develop the material of the exposition. Eccentric as the movement is, it never sounds like an agglomeration of random ideas, as superficially similar pieces by Emanuel Bach sometimes can. It is characteristic of Haydn’s keyboard slow movements that the ornate Adagio relies more on gesture and rhetorical flourishes than on lyrical melody. The finale, a minuet with variations, contains a beautiful syncopated F minor trio, akin to the minor-keyed trios in the early sonatas, but much subtler in the polyphonic weave of its textures.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2012

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