Hyperion Records

Piano Sonata in B minor, Hob XVI:32
composer
published privately in 1776

Recordings
'Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1' (CDA67554)
Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67554  2CDs for the price of 1  
Details
Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Track 10 on CDA67554 CD2 [5'57] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 2: Menuet
Track 11 on CDA67554 CD2 [3'42] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 3: Finale: Presto
Track 12 on CDA67554 CD2 [4'11] 2CDs for the price of 1

Piano Sonata in B minor, Hob XVI:32
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With the sonata No 32, one of a group of six published privately in manuscript copies in 1776, we move from inspired galanterie to the vehement astringency characteristic of Haydn’s music in B minor (compare the string quartets Op 33 No 1 and Op 64 No 2). In his later works Haydn preferred a cheerful, major-mode resolution in his minor-keyed movements. Here, though, the recapitulations of the fiercely concentrated outer movements remain grimly in the minor throughout; and what had seemed brilliant or (in the first movement’s dancing triplets) even skittish in the exposition subsequently acquires a tense, anxious edge. The finale, with its obsessively pounding theme—the mainspring of virtually all the musical action—and weird, unsettling silences, is perhaps Haydn’s most violent sonata movement, culminating in a laconic coda that thunders out the theme in stark octave unison. Amid this turbulence, the dulcet, long-spanned central minuet in B major, in effect a surrogate slow movement, provides harmonic balm, with its darkly agitated B minor trio evoking the mood of the sonata as a whole.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2007

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