The E minor sonata, No 34, was one of three sonatas (including No 39) published in London in 1783, though it probably (that word again) dates from the late 1770s. The superb 6/8 opening Presto worries at its laconic main theme with cussed obsessiveness, rising to a splenetic climax in the coda before the opening phrase vanishes into thin air. Only the G major second theme, sounded in dulcet thirds and sixths, offers momentary relaxation. The G major Adagio, extravagantly embellished with rococo arabesques, leads via a passage of quasi-operatic recitative into the finale, whose folk-like theme lives up to its innocentemente marking. This is another Haydnesque amalgam of rondo and variations, with a recurring E major episode closely related to the main, E minor, theme.
from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009