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Track(s) taken from CDA67554

Piano Sonata in D major, Hob XVI:37

composer
published by Artaria in Vienna in 1780

Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Recording details: December 2005
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: March 2007
Total duration: 11 minutes 38 seconds
 
1
Allegro con brio  [5'27]
2
3

Reviews

'The ever-phenomenal Marc-André Hamelin breaks out into the light with a two-disc set of Haydn sonatas … these are astonishing performances … Hyperion's sound and presentation are, as always, immaculate' (Gramophone)

'Hamelin kicks off with the late C major Sonata, Hob XVI:50, nailing his virtuoso credentials firmly to the mast with a mercurial account of its opening movement … Hamelin's playing is dazzling … these are altogether splendid performances … these beautifully recorded performances can't be recommended too highly' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This French-Canadian pianist is equal to anything … marvels of dexterity coupled with the most refined art … the fast pieces are preturnaturally smooth, the slow ones beautifully expressive' (The Independent)

'Hamelin's coruscating virtuosity and colouristic flair can be taken for granted. But his phenomenal technique is never an end in itself. This is playing of elegance, subtlety and a subversive Haydnesque wit. Hamelin delights in the composer's penchant for wrong-footing the listener. The madcap scherzo finale of No 50, with its outrageous pauses and deflections to the most improbable keys, is deliciously timed … elsewhere, Hamelin conjures a wonderful of veiled inwardness in the adagio of No 46, and an almost Chopin-like poetry in the dreamy F minor siciliano in No 23. But Hamelin's exhilarating reading has its own validity, while the finale is dazzling in its brio and comic legerdemain. This is just the sort of Haydn playing—colourful, inventive, impish—that should win these sonatas a wider following' (The Daily Telegraph)

'For those interested in Haydn (which should include everyone who cares about music) this is a particularly valuable release … every work on this set is worthy of repeated hearings … Hamelin is a stylish and accomplished pianist. His tone is aptly lean with no untoward use of the sustaining pedal or imposition of an undue rupturing of pulse. His runs are immaculate, even in the most rapidly articulated passages, and textures are always sharply focused … a special virtue of this release is the inclusion of an essay by Richard Wigmore. Providing cogent information that touches a variety of issues impossible to glean from a single source, it stands, in effect, as a model of what insert notes should be and rarely are. Throughout both CDs the sound is ideal' (International Record Review)

Hamelin's gift for making light of complex textures and technically taxing writing is here harnessed to music of Classical clarity and economy. It is without doubt one of his finest achievements—and that's saying something. This cleverly chosen selection of diverse character is played with masterly resourcefulness. Hamelin can do deadpan humour (the finale of No 40) and brilliant note-spinning (No 32) like few others, but also finds a truly affecting wistfulness in some of the slow movements. Superbly recorded, this is a life-enhancing release' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Marc-André Hamelin joyfully tackles ten of the later sonatas on his generously presented two-for-one release from Hyperion, and one cannot but be intoxicated by such happy piano playing' (Pianist)

'Marc-André Hamelin's virtuosity is in a different league altogether. The pearly evenness of his touch, his immaculate negotiation of even the trickiest of figurations and nonchalant despatch of semiquavers at the highest velocity, indulges the physical exhilaration of Haydn's playful inspiration in a way unmatched by any pianist past or present … even Hamelin has made few discs to equal this and none finer' (International Piano)

'Hamelin begins his tour with the Sonata No 50 in C, Hob XVI:50 … the teasing opening and brusque outbursts in the opening movement are fully rendered by Hamelin, who embraces the cheeky syncopations, as well. There's something heartbreaking about Hamelin's playing in the tender Adagio to Sonata No 46 in A flat, Hob XVI:41. The single line, unsupported by any left-hand accompaniment rises and falls like a lullaby, gaining definition when Haydn finally brings in the left hand. There's more where that came from in the Adagio to Sonata No 23 in F, Hob XVI:23, which Hamelin treats as if it were a lost opera aria. Hamelin places the harmonic accents in just the right place, and he does it again and again over two discs' (Time Out Chicago)

'These superb performances—brisk, witty, emotionally evocative—reflect glory on him and Haydn alike … Hamelin is equally commanding through all of the composer's moods, skipping nimbly across the keyboard with unerring precision and then turning a slow movement into a hauntingly eloquent dramatic solo. Best of all, he gets the jokes, which he brings forward without underlining them. The result is a series of buoyant renditions' (San Francisco Chronicle)

'It is literally true that almost every new disc by Hamelin is an adventure and a revelation-in waiting. Should anyone ask why a pianist as technically daunting and so usually given to difficult and unusual repertoire (Alkan, Ornstein, Wolpe, Busoni) is now essaying two discs of piano sonatas by good old 'Papa' Haydn, all you have to do is listen to the opening C major Piano Sonata No 50 and you know you’re a long way from music intended to be pedagogic and little else. There is extravagance here of the sort Hamelin has always fed on all through this marvelous two disc set and Hamelin’s inclination toward whirlwind, occasionally almost violent prestos, Lisztian slow tempos and Bachian counterpoint brings out the bracing musical mind that so many of the greatest musicians have long insisted on beneath the classical era's Viennese paterfamilias' (The Buffalo News, USA)

'Hyperion's recording is as usual excellent with a proper focus given to the piano without making it sound overtly domineering or presumptuous. Richard Wigmore's copiously detailed notes are essential reading for the discerning Haydn scholar and thus I have nothing left to add but a wholehearted recommendation for this rather excellent double CD set which incidentally is tantalizingly offered for the price of one' (Classical.net)

'Hamelin finds in this music what so many performers of Haydn miss—the universality of utterance, the almost Shakespearean range of emotions, hiding within the classicism of Haydn's musical language' (La Folia, USA)
One of Haydn’s few pre-London sonatas to have entered the popular repertoire is the D major, No 37, from the set of six published by the Viennese firm of Artaria in 1780. The sonatas were dedicated to the talented sisters Franziska and Maria Katherina von Auenbrugger, whose playing in aristocratic salons drew the admiration of both Leopold Mozart—never one to dish out compliments lightly—and Haydn himself. The D major’s popularity is easy to understand. The first movement, with its irrepressible, chirruping main theme, evokes the spirit of Domenico Scarlatti at his most dashing within the dynamic of the Classical sonata style. At the centre of the development Haydn offsets the prevailing mood of jocularity with a powerful sequence of suspensions. The Largo e sostenuto, in D minor, is especially striking: a grave, sonorously scored sarabande, archaic in flavour, with a suggestion of a Baroque French overture in its dotted rhythms and imitative contrapuntal textures. Like the slow movement of No 24, it leads without a break into the finale, a guileless rondo marked innocentemente and built around a fetching tune that could have been whistled on any Viennese street corner.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2007

Tirée du corpus de six sonates publié par la maison viennoise Artaria en 1780, la Sonate en ré majeur no 37 est l’une des rares sonates prélondoniennes de Haydn à être entrée au répertoire populaire. Ce corpus fut dédié aux talentueuses sœurs Franziska et Maria Katherina von Auenbrugger, dont Leopold Mozart—qui n’adressait jamais ses compliments à la légère—et Haydn en personne admirèrent le jeu dans les salons aristocratiques. La popularité de la Sonate en ré majeur se comprend sans peine. Le premier mouvement, avec son thème principal irrésistible, enjoué, évoque l’esprit du plus pimpant Domenico Scarlatti dans la dynamique du style de sonate classique. Au centre du développement, Haydn compense la jovialité prédominante par une puissante séquence de suspensions. Le Largo e sostenuto en ré mineur est particulièrement saisissant: une sarabande grave, à l’écriture retentissante, de saveur archaïque, dont les rythmes pointés et les textures contrapuntiques imitatives rappellent une ouverture baroque à la française. Comme le mouvement lent de la Sonate no 24, elle débouche directement sur le finale, un rondo ingénu marqué innocentemente et bâti autour d’un air séduisant qu’on aurait pu entendre siffler à n’importe quel coin de rue viennois.

extrait des notes rédigées par Richard Wigmore © 2007
Français: Hypérion

Eine der wenigen Sonaten aus Haydns Schaffen vor seinem Wirken in London, die es in das populäre Repertoire schafften, ist Nr. 37 in D-Dur aus der Sammlung von sechs Sonaten, die der Wiener Verleger Artaria 1780 veröffentlichte. Sie sind den talentierten Schwestern Franziska und Maria Katherina von Auenbrugger gewidmet, deren Spiel in den aristokratischen Salons sowohl von Leopold Mozart—der nie leicht Komplimente machte—sowie von Haydn selbst bewundert wurde. Die Popularität der D-Dur-Sonate ist leicht zu verstehen: der erste Satz mit seinem unwiderstehlichen, zirpenden Hauptthema evoziert den Geist von Domenico Scarlatti in seiner verwegendsten Manier im Rahmen des klassischen Sonatenstils. In der Mitte der Durchführung gleicht Haydn die vorwiegend scherzhaft-heitere Stimmung mit einer massiven Vorhaltskette aus. Das Largo e sostenuto in d-Moll ist besonders eindrucksvoll: eine gravitätische, sonore Sarabande mit archaischem Flair und der Andeutung einer barocken französischen Ouvertüre in ihren punktierten Rhythmen und imitativ-kontrapunktischem Gefüge. Wie der langsame Satz von Nr. 24 leitet auch sie ohne Unterbrechung direkt ins Finale über—ein argloses Rondo mit der Überschrift innocentemente, das um eine einprägsame Melodie angelegt ist, die man an jeder beliebigen Wiener Straßenecke gepfiffen haben könnte.

aus dem Begleittext von Richard Wigmore © 2007
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

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