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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: 12 minutes 45 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)

Andante and variations in F minor 'Sonata, Un piccolo divertimento', Hob XVII:6
composer
1793; Vienna; written for Barbara von Ployer; first published in 1799 with a dedication to Baroness von Braun

Other recordings available for download
Angela Hewitt (piano)
Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Gottlieb Wallisch (piano)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski (piano)
Wanda Landowska (piano)   October 2014 Release
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Haydn composed the Sonata ‘Un piccolo divertimento’ (Variations in F minor), in Vienna in 1793 for the talented pianist Barbara (‘Babette’) von Ployer, for whom Mozart had written the concertos K449 and K453. This profoundly felt music vies with the Andante of the ‘Drumroll’ Symphony as Haydn’s greatest set of alternating minor–major variations. After the stoic melancholy of the F minor opening, with its gently insistent dotted rhythms, the ornate F major theme exudes a kind of whimsical, abstracted playfulness. Haydn originally ended with the second F major variation and a few bars of coda. He subsequently appended a reprise of the F minor theme and a long, disturbingly chromatic coda that draws unsuspected force from the pervasive dotted rhythms before dissolving in a feverish swirl of arpeggios. After a measure of equilibrium is restored, the dotted rhythms toll deep in the bass, like a funeral knell. Haydn was the least confessional of composers. But it is not far-fetched to suggest, as several commentators have done, that the tragic intensity of the coda may have been prompted by the sudden death of Maria Anna von Genzinger, at the age of forty-two, on 26 January 1793.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009


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'Haydn: The London Sonatas' (CKD464)
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'Nikolai Demidenko live at Wigmore Hall' (CDD22024)
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