Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Andante
Movement 3: Allegro, ma dolce
Movement 3: Allegro, ma non dolce
Among Haydn’s later trios, the Piano Trio in D major Hob XV:24 is unusual in being consistently serious in tone, with almost Beethoven-like earnestness. The first movement is on quite a large scale, full of pauses and surprises, sudden offbeat accents and bursts of energy—just the effects that Beethoven was beginning to exploit. The writing for piano makes full use of the English grand pianos Haydn had got to know, with rich chords, bold octaves in the bass and much brilliant elaboration above. The brief second movement is built from an anxious little dotted-rhythm figure, which has the air of a solemn dance. It leads without a break into the finale. This looks, on paper, somewhat like a minuet. But the triple-time is continually disguised and subverted by the interplay between the instruments, and by successions of phrases two beats long. The overall impression is less of a dance and more of a rather worried conversation, which finally comes to an unexpected end as if the speakers had walked off through the door, still talking.
from notes by Robert Philip © 2009