Hyperion Records

Piano Concerto in F major, Hob XVIII:3
composer
probably circa 1765/7; first published by Breitkopf in 1771; 1st and 2nd movement cadenzas by Marc-André Hamelin (b1961)

Recordings
'Haydn: Piano Concertos Nos 3, 4 & 11' (CDA67925)
Haydn: Piano Concertos Nos 3, 4 & 11
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Details
Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Largo cantabile
Movement 3: Presto

Piano Concerto in F major, Hob XVIII:3
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Probably composed around 1765–7, the Concerto in F major, Hob XVIII:3, appeared in the catalogue of the publisher Breitkopf (not yet united with Härtel) in 1771, though Haydn does not seem to have been consulted, and earned nothing from the edition. Sixteen years later, the Paris firm of Le Duc issued the work, this time with the composer’s authority, as ‘Concerto Pour le Clavecin [Harpsichord] ou Piano-Forte, avec Accompagnement de deux Violons, Alto et Basse’. By 1787 the ‘piano-forte’—i.e. fortepiano—was usurping the harpsichord in salons and concert halls, and publishers of keyboard music were careful to keep the options open.

If the F major Concerto’s spry opening Allegro contains relatively few Haydnesque surprises, it carries the listener along with its energy and confident sense of direction. There are some piquant contrasts of major and minor (a ploy Haydn may have picked up from Wagenseil’s sonatas and concertos), and a long, modulating central development where the ubiquitous moto perpetuo keyboard figuration builds to an impassioned climax. The C major Largo cantabile is a wordless operatic aria designed to display the player’s ‘taste’ (an eighteenth-century buzzword) and feeling, the finale a fetching contredanse with scintillating toccata-style keyboard figuration.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2013

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