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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Photo of Angela Hewitt by James Cheadle.
Track(s) taken from CDA67736
Recording details: March 2009
Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: September 2009
Total duration: 20 minutes 13 seconds

'Hewitt distils the essence of the original instruments without compromsing her out-and-out commitment to the modern keyboard … the large-scale Haydn E flat Sonata is superb, above all the middle movement in an astonishing and other-wordly E major. Hewitt's dynamic range is bold … and the glittering facility of the final Presto is thrilling. Altogether a splendid contribution to these composers' anniversary year' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Everything emerges with an impressive combination of clarity and vitality … the programme is unique to the current catalogue, and Hewitt's favoured Fazioli instrument has been recorded with superb fidelity' (International Record Review)

'What intrigues me most about Angela Hewitt's playing is the tension between the expressive restrictions of her 18th-century repertoire, and the imagination she deploys so fully within its boundaries … she takes pains to make each strand of the music apparent to the listener … technical virtuosity put to the service of Haydn's brilliant wit' (Fanfare, USA)

'Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt, famous for playing Bach, commands the very different, more Italianate style of Handel. The last work on the disc is Haydn's great E flat Sonata and I like Hewitt's way with its Adagio best of all' (Daily Mail)

Piano Sonata in E flat major, Hob XVI:52
composer
1794/5; written for Therese Jansen; No 62

Allegro moderato  [7'59]
Adagio  [6'22]
Finale: Presto  [5'52]

Other recordings available for download
Gottlieb Wallisch (piano)
Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Vladimir Horowitz (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Remote tonal relationships are a prime feature of the noble, almost symphonic E flat Sonata, No 52, Haydn’s grandest and most spacious work for the piano. Here, though, they are integrated into a boldly comprehensive design. Haydn sets the slow movement in the far-flung ‘Neapolitan’ key of E major. But he is careful to flag this audacious move during the massive opening Allegro moderato, a movement as rich in diverse ideas as the C major’s was economical. At the heart of the development the music pauses rhetorically on a deep, full chord of G major, leading the ear to expect a resolution to C minor. But Haydn has other ideas; and with an effect at once startling, witty and poetic, the flippant second theme prances in in the quite alien key of E major. Having conjured this luminous, strangely unreal vision, Haydn then spirits the music back to the home key E flat and the recapitulation via a wonderful gliding chromatic sequence. There is another, more fleeting presentiment of the key of the Adagio near the end of the movement. Here a phrase in soft, bare octaves from the exposition is chromatically expanded, creating a mysterious phrase replete with double flats that could be rewritten enharmonically in E major.

Like the slow movement of No 50, the Adagio suggests a fantasia in its rhapsodic, richly ornamented style. But it is a more varied, far-reaching piece, more sonorously scored and more audacious in its harmony—as when the tonality veers dramatically towards a remote C major in the second half of the theme. A central episode in E minor develops the theme’s initial dotted phrase in music by turns stark and airily whimsical. Haydn has another tonal surprise up his sleeve at the start of the finale. After the E major Adagio, the unharmonized repeated Gs lead the ear to expect E minor; and when a sustained bass note in bar two establishes the key of E flat, we experience a sense of pleasurable shock. The whole movement is the consummation of Haydn’s Scarlatti-influenced toccata style, developing its irrepressible main theme with dazzling verve and chromatic sleight-of-hand: a coruscating ending to a work that, if not quite his last sonata, gloriously crowns a genre that Haydn, more than anyone, had raised from lightweight, divertimento origins to a status comparable with the exalted symphony and the string quartet.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2007


Other albums featuring this work
'Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1' (CDA67554)
Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 CDA67554  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Haydn: The London Sonatas' (CKD464)
Haydn: The London Sonatas
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £18.00ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £18.00 CKD464  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Vladimir Horowitz – The complete solo European recordings' (APR6004)
Vladimir Horowitz – The complete solo European recordings
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 APR6004  for the price of 1 — Download only  

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