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Track(s) taken from CDA67719

Piano Trio in D major, Hob XV:24

No 38; dedicated to Rebecca Schroeter

The Florestan Trio
Recording details: March 2008
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: February 2009
Total duration: 15 minutes 11 seconds

Cover artwork: The Gypsy Tent by William Shayer (1811-1892)
© Wolverhampton Art Gallery / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

London Fortepiano Trio


'Tomes and her partners identify themselves fully with the emotional scale of the works … there is so much from the Florestan to stop us in our tracks … a very special disc, recorded in detailed, front-row sound' (Gramophone)

'These are altogether lively and alert performances, with repeats imaginatively varied, and a real feel for the subtle balance of the music' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Four of Haydn's later trios, including the familiar 'Gypsy Rondo', are played here by the Florestan Trio with a captivating grace' (The Observer)

'The articulation of Susan Tomes and her colleagues is alert and imaginative, with a 'period-instrument' feel for texture, effortlessly capturing Haydn's mercurial wit' (The Sunday Times)

'The Florestan is the ultimate in gentility and grace … the playing, interpretation, and recorded sound are perfection; every note, every phrase, every balance is beyond criticism' (Fanfare, USA)

'It is a pleasure to hear the Florestans strike their expected and convincing balance. They are a Haydnesque ensemble in the very best sense' (NewClassics.com)

'It would be hard to find crisper performances of Haydn's piano trios. The Florestan Trio is not a period instrument ensemble, but it never makes us wish it were, for these musicians don't play Haydn as if it were Beethoven or Schubert. The interpretations are articulate, stylish and vivid; accents spit and tingle; and passagework whizzes sharp and serrated as a saw blade. They take risks: some fast movements move at blistering speeds, and the exaggerated upbeats and shifts in tempo make their free-wheeling Gypsy Rondo sound like the real thing. Slow movements sing, and the balance—so crucial in these trios—is heavenly' (The Globe and Mail, Canada)

'This first volume in a projected series of the complete Haydn piano trios promises many future delights. The performances are, by and large, excellent … kudos particularly are in order for pianist Susan Tomes. These are keyboard works first and foremost, and she leads with great sensitivity and elegance' (Classics Today)

'What comes through vividly here is Haydn’s capacity to surprise; and the discovery of the music is in listening to them. Suffice it to say that the music’s essential grace, lightness and sparkle is affectionately captured by the members of The Florestan Trio, who are also alive to the musical and emotional diversions that Haydn imaginatively and wittily incorporates … with excellent recorded sound and an illuminating booklet note by Robert Philip, this release offers much joy' (Classical Source)
Following the death of his employer, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, Haydn was free to accept an invitation to visit London for the first time in 1791, where he and his music were rapturously received. While he was in London he gave music lessons to Rebecca Schroeter, the widow of a composer. They developed an intimate relationship, and touching letters from Mrs Schroeter to Haydn survive. On one occasion she wrote: ‘No language can express half the Love and affection I feel for you, you are Dearer to me every Day of my life.’ Haydn kept her letters into his old age, admitting to one of his biographers that she was ‘a beautiful and lovable woman, whom I would very readily have married if I had been free then’ (Haydn, a warm and passionate man, had been locked in a cold and loveless marriage for thirty years). During his second visit to London in 1794–5, Haydn dedicated to Rebecca Schroeter three trios, Hob XV:24–26.

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

Après la mort de son employeur, le prince Nikolaus Esterházy, Haydn fut libre d’accepter une invitation à Londres, où il fut, avec sa musique, chaleureusement accueilli. Lors de ce premier séjour (1791), il donna des leçons de musique à Rebecca Schroeter, la veuve d’un compositeur avec laquelle il noua une relation intime. Nous possédons encore certaines des émouvantes lettres que Mrs Schroeter lui adressa; dans l’une, elle lui écrivit: «aucune langue ne peut exprimer la moitié de l’amour et de l’affection que j’éprouve pour vous, vous m’êtes plus cher chaque jour de ma vie». Haydn, qui conserva ces lettres jusque dans ses vieux jours, avoua à l’un de ses biographes: «c’était une belle et charmante femme, que j’aurais très volontiers épousée si j’avais été libre» (homme chaleureux et fervent, il avait été prisonnier d’un mariage froid, sans amour, pendant trente ans). Ce fut lors de son second séjour londonien (1794–5) qu’il dédia ses trois trios Hob XV:24–26 à rebecca Schroeter.

Le Trio avec piano en ré majeur Hob XV:24 se démarque des trios haydniens tardifs par son ton constamment sérieux, d’une gravité quasi beethovénienne. Le premier mouvement, d’envergure, est bourré de pauses et de surprises, de brusques accents anacroustiques et de bouffées d’énergie—les effets mêmes que Beethoven commençait d’exploiter. L’écriture pianistique utilise pleinement les pianos à queue anglais, avec de riches accords, de vigoureuses octaves à la basse et avec, par-dessus, beaucoup de développement brillant. Le second mouvement repose sur une angoissante petite figure en rythme pointé, aux allures de danse solennelle, et débouche directement dans le finale. Sur le papier, on dirait un peu un menuet. Mais la mesure ternaire est constamment travestie, subvertie par le jeu entre les instruments et par des phrases de deux temps. L’impression globale est moins celle d’une danse que d’une conversation plutôt inquiète, à la fin inattendue, comme si les locuteurs étaient sortis par la porte sans s’arrêter de causer.

extrait des notes rédigées par Robert Philip © 2009
Français: Hypérion

Nach dem Tode seines Dienstherrn Fürst Nikolaus Esterházy war Haydn frei, 1791 zum ersten Mal eine Einladung nach London zu akzeptieren, wo er und seine Musik begeistert aufgenommen wurden. Als er in London war, gab er Rebecca Schroeter, der Witwe eines Komponisten Musikunterricht. Daraus erwuchs eine intime Beziehung, und rührende Briefe von Mrs. Schroeter an Haydn haben überlebt. Bei einer Gelegenheit schrieb sie: „keine Sprache kann halbwegs die Liebe und Zuneigung ausdrücken, die ich für Sie empfinde, Sie sind mir jeden Tag meines Lebens teurer“. Haydn bewahrte ihre Briefe bis in sein hohes Alter auf und gestand einem seiner Biographen, dass sie eine schöne und liebenswerte Frau gewesen sei, die er sehr gerne geheiratet hätte, wenn er damals frei gewesen wäre. (Haydn, ein warmherziger und leidenschaftlicher Mann, war dreißig Jahre lang in einer kalten, lieblosen Ehe befangen.) Während seines zweiten Londonbesuchs 1794–95 widmete er Rebecca Schroeter drei Trios, Hob XV:24–26.

Unter Haydns späteren Trios ist das Klaviertrio in D-Dur Hob XV:24 insofern ungewöhnlich, als es durchweg seriös im Ton bleibt—mit einer nahezu beethovenhaften Ernsthaftigkeit. Der erste Satz ist relativ groß angelegt, voller Fermaten und Überraschungen, plötzlicher synkopierter Akzente und Energieausbrüche—genau wie die Effekte, die Beethoven auszunutzen begonnen hatte. Der Klaviersatz nutzt die Möglichkeiten der englischen Flügel, die Haydn kennen gelernt hatte, voll aus: mit sonoren Akkorden, kraftvollen Oktaven im Bass und zahlreichen Verzierungen über ihnen. Der knappe zweite Satz wird aus einer beklommenen kleinen rhythmischen Figur konstruiert, und besitzt den Charakter eines feierlichen Tanzes. Er geht direkt ins Finale über. Auf dem Papier ähnelt dies einem Menuett, aber der Dreiertakt wird stetig verschleiert und durch das Wechselspiel zwischen den Instrumenten und einer Folge von Phrasen subvertiert, die zwei Taktschläge lang sind. Der Gesamteindruck ist weniger der eines Tanzes sondern eher der einer ängstlichen Konversation, die schließlich unerwartet endet, als ob die Redner, noch im Gespräch, aus der Tür gingen.

aus dem Begleittext von Robert Philip © 2009
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

Other albums featuring this work

Haydn: Piano Trios Nos 38-40
CDA66297Archive Service
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