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Haydn Piano Sonatas [Import]

Franz Joseph Haydn Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 20.71 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Haydn Piano Sonatas + HAYDN. Piano Sonatas Vol.3. Hamelin (2 for 1) + V2 Hamelin Plays Haydn: Pno
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. Allegro
2. Adagio
3. Allegro Molto
4. Allegretto Innocentemente
5. Presto
6. Allegretto Moderato
7. Adagio
8. Finale: Presto
9. Allegro
10. Allegro Di Molto
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Moderato
2. Adagio
3. Finale: Presto
4. Moderato
5. Menuetto-Trio-Menuetto Da Capo
6. Rondo: Presto
7. Allegro
8. Adagio
9. Finale: Presto
10. Allegro Moderato
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Product Description

Sonates pour pour piano n°50, n°40, n°46, n°41, n°52, n°23, n°43, n°24, n°32 & n°37 / Marc-André Hamelin, piano

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Joy of Music April 10 2007
Format:Audio CD
In my mother's and then later my wife's collection of cookbooks was one called 'The Joy of Cooking.' I can think of no better epithet for this two-CDs-for-the-price-of-one collection of Haydn piano sonatas than 'The Joy of Music.' We know that Haydn was one of the most joyful composers and certainly that adjective applies to his 60 or so piano sonatas (of which there are ten presented here) and there is absolutely no pianist before the public today who conveys the joy of music-making more than Marc-André Hamelin. Even though I would never have dreamed he would bring out a Haydn sonata collection -- one associates him with less-well-known music, usually of the super-virtuoso sort -- I am thrilled that he did. (And come to think of it, Haydn's sonatas aren't as well known as they deserve to be.) Let me say that this set eclipses any other Haydn sonata recordings I know. It's that simple. There is a such superhuman clarity, such grace, such stylish phrasing, pearly runs, precise figurations, such technical aplomb and such high spirits as to allow me no other conclusion.

The contents of the two CDs are representative of Haydn's entire sonata output, with a couple of the masterful late sonatas -- Nos. 50 in C and 52 in E flat -- cheek by jowl with some of the earlier, less experimental ones, such as No. 23 in F.

It's a wonder to me that Haydn sonatas are not more often played or recorded. Perhaps, like the piano trios, it's because there are so many of them. But if you compare the number of recordings and performances of Mozart sonatas with these gems the disparity is astonishing. I find that I turn to the Haydn sonatas in my own listening more often than I do the Mozarts, although I love both sets of sonatas immoderately.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy collection of neglected works April 1 2014
By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Haydn doesn't blow you away with fireworks - he just works hard and gets his point across through musical consistency. This collection shows what he can do with piano works. This is not Beethoven, this is just quality, winning melodic music that is more sophisticated than it might first appear. I'm grateful Hamelin has gone to the trouble of recording all this work, as it is well worth listening to.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Joy of Music April 10 2007
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In my mother's and then later my wife's collection of cookbooks was one called 'The Joy of Cooking.' I can think of no better epithet for this two-CDs-for-the-price-of-one collection of Haydn piano sonatas than 'The Joy of Music.' We know that Haydn was one of the most joyful composers and certainly that adjective applies to his 60 or so piano sonatas (of which there are ten presented here) and there is absolutely no pianist before the public today who conveys the joy of music-making more than Marc-André Hamelin. Even though I would never have dreamed he would bring out a Haydn sonata collection -- one associates him with less-well-known music, usually of the super-virtuoso sort -- I am thrilled that he did. (And come to think of it, Haydn's sonatas aren't as well known as they deserve to be.) Let me say that this set eclipses any other Haydn sonata recordings I know. It's that simple. There is a such superhuman clarity, such grace, such stylish phrasing, pearly runs, precise figurations, such technical aplomb and such high spirits as to allow me no other conclusion.

The contents of the two CDs are representative of Haydn's entire sonata output, with a couple of the masterful late sonatas -- Nos. 50 in C and 52 in E flat -- cheek by jowl with some of the earlier, less experimental ones, such as No. 23 in F.

It's a wonder to me that Haydn sonatas are not more often played or recorded. Perhaps, like the piano trios, it's because there are so many of them. But if you compare the number of recordings and performances of Mozart sonatas with these gems the disparity is astonishing. I find that I turn to the Haydn sonatas in my own listening more often than I do the Mozarts, although I love both sets of sonatas immoderately. And now that we have this group of sonatas played by Hamelin I suspect I'll be doing so even more often; in fact, there has been no other music in my car CD player for the past two weeks. Is it too much to hope that perhaps there will be more Hamelin recordings of Haydn? One can only wish.

It's a lovely gesture, by the way, that Hyperion has chosen to issue this set of two CDs for the price of one. Thank you, Hyperion! And thank you as well for including the enlightening and exhaustive essay on the sonatas by Richard Wigmore.

Very enthusiastically recommended.

Scott Morrison
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive technique, but missing Haydn's genial spirit July 11 2007
By markason - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Almost all of Haydn's artistry is richly rewarding, and I encourage everyone with an interest in Classical music to acquaint themselves with his welcoming genius. Haydn's gift for lapidary musical invention seems nearly inexhaustible, and his piano sonatas are yet another genre where his creativity can be easily approached and enjoyed. I'm grateful to Marc-Andre Hamelin for recording these neglected sonatas with splendid panache, bringing them fresh to an appreciative audience. However, I sometimes feel that Haydn's music is performed skillfully, though without the breadth of humane sympathy it deserves, and I suspect that the full wealth of Haydn's craft is not quite arrayed, here. I won't find fault with Hamelin's talents as a pianist, which are brilliantly polished, nor do I mean to be glib with my critique, but I will say that stylistically, his renderings sound to my ears more like caffeinated Chopin rather than Franz Josef's neo-Classical poise, humor, verve and endearing warmth. I first fell in love with Haydn's piano music through the performances of Bart van Oort, on pianoforte (Brilliant Classics label) and John McCabe, on modern piano (London/Decca label). Unfortunately, these recordings seem to be available only as complete sets of the Haydn sonatas, which would be too great an investment for most listeners. A relatively inexpensive introduction to the abundant pleasures of Haydn's piano pieces can be found through the recordings of Alfred Brendel, such as this album available here on Amazon: Haydn: 3 Piano Sonatas; Fantasia in C; Adagio in F. Brendel's performance is erudite and heartfelt, if somewhat romantic. For pianism that is a bit closer to the sound-world of 18th-century Austria (yet played on modern instruments) both Andras Schiff Haydn: Piano Sonatas and Leif Ove Andsnes ~ Haydn - Piano Sonatas can be recommended.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars * * 1/2 Fast and brittle, which seems to be the way Haydn is played lately Sept. 18 2007
By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is Haydn presented at a gallop. Actually, sometimes it's presented at the speed of a 340HP DOC engine. I really can't understand what people get out of music like this, other than razzle-dazzle, definitely not what Haydn is about. Marc-Andre Hamelin's performances fly out of the gate, but the genial, jaunty and joyous qualities (not trying for alliteration there, it just fit) are lost. This is very one-dimensional Haydn, and the aim seems to simply be to play as quickly as possible.

Slow movements lack that soulful pensiveness. The allegro finales don't have the rollicking good time. The opening allegros don't have that philosophical quality. This is almost computer-like playing. It certainly doesn't bridge the gap from the Rococo to Mozart and Beethoven.

Some here are impressed by MAH's technique. I am not. To me he sounds colorless, brittle and sometimes even drops notes in very fast passages. I can't escape the feeling that if he were to slow down a little he'd not only not flub the occasional note but also play with more line, more tone and more attention to the big picture, the structure of each movement.

Richter, Ernst Levy, Mikhail Pletnev, heck even Emmanuel Ax have made better recordings, maybe not of all the sonatas here, but of enough that I feel no compulsion to keep this on my shelf. Someone else here mentioned Oort. I haven't heard his Haydn, but have been very impressed by his Chopin set as well as other recordings, so that may be worth checking out as well. But I'd avoid this set. Sound like the "classical" music they play in Starbucks. It's even super-caffeinated.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring Haydn's Piano Sonatas Aug. 11 2007
By Robin Friedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This two-CD set has received a great deal of attention from my fellow Amazon reviewers and elsewhere both for the music and for the performance. Marc-Andre Hamelin offers a virtuoso performance of ten Haydn piano sonatas. I will comment on the performance, but will devote most of this review to the music.

As to Hamelin's performance, I found it idiomatic and expressive. Hamelin has a large technique, and I think he understands this music. He does not sentimentalize it or give the listener the impression it comes from a music box. He shows outstanding control of the varied kinds of touches required by this music, excellent dynamics and phrasing and appropriate use of the pedal. Tempo is a perpetually controversial question in music of the early classical era. I found Hamelin's tempos in the fast movements brought out the character of the music, and they were contrasted well with the sensitive playing in the many beautiful slow movements. I found Hamelin playing offers great insight into Haydn. As with any great music, the readings of any performer, regardless of how gifted, do not constitute the only word.

But the main attraction of this set is the opportunity to hear a large cross-section of Haydn's piano sonatas. Joseph Haydn (1732 -- 1809) composed for solo keyboard throughout his career. His style and compositional skill developed with the years, just as it did with the symphony. Haydn's sonatas show well the development of the classical sonata style and make for highly enjoyable listening. For many years, Haydn was viewed in the shadow of Mozart and Beethoven and not for himself. His piano sonatas, in particular, were undervalued. Happily, this situation has changed.

The sonatas in this compiliation represent Haydn at all his compositional stages with the exception of the earliest, i.e. pre-1766.(The authenticity of these earliest works has been questioned. Listeners wanting to explore them may with to hear Jeno Jando's recording of sonatas 1 -- 10 on Naxos.) Haydn generally wrote his sonatas for students or, in the case of the final works, for virtuoso performers. He did not compose for his own performance, as did Beethoven or Mozart. Richard Wigmore has written unsusually detailed notes for each of the sonatas on these CDs and I found they helped greatly with my understanding of the music. Haydn, in contrast to Mozart, frequently wrote for the piano in a percussive style, which Hamelin brings out well. It is a different approach to the classical sonata which will surprise some new listeners. Haydn makes use of strong syncopated rhythms, frequent counterpoint, and, often, of heavy octaves. His themes tend to be short and brusque and are developed and expanded with repetition and with great use of variation form. C.P.E. Bach is often considered an influence on Haydn's sonatas, but I thought frequently of Scarlatti as I have heard Hamelin and others play this music.

The earliest sonatas in this collection are nos.46 and 43, both of which are in A flat major. They were composed in the late 1760s. The no. 46 in particular is highly improvisatory in character, and Haydn makes the first of what would become many moves of harmonic daring in his keyboard music in the following slow movement. Sonatas 23 and 24, included on this set, are also early works. They were published for Prince Esterhazy and are full of glitter and galantrie. The second movement of no. 23 is a flowing sicilienne which may well have influenced Mozart when he began to compose piano sonatas.

Sonatas 32 and 37 were composed in Haydn's mid-career between 1773 -- 1780. They are radically different from each other. Sonata 32 in B minor (the only minor key work on this program) is a worthy product of what is sometimes called Haydn's sturm und drang period. It consists of music of great tension, force, and intensity. The outer movements are spare and austure and include, in the finale, forceful writing in octaves. The middle movement is a minuet with a stormy trio that complements the outer movements. The sonata no. 37, in contrast, is a more popularly-styled work, with galant outer themes and a moving slow movement.

The remaining four works in this set were composed between 1781 and 1785. Sonatas 40 and 41 are in two movements (as are three other sonatas from this period, 42,48,49, not included here) and show Haydn's continued willingness to experiment and change forms. I especially enjoyed Sonata 40 in G major. It opens with a movement in double variations -- major and minor key alternating -- fetchingly marked "allegretto innocentemente. The second movement is contrasting in its quirkiness, speed, and good humor.

The final two sonatas in the collection are, fittingly, Haydn's final works in the form which are generally regarded as his masterpieces. They were composed during the years Haydn was in London with the second set of "London" symphonies and were written for a professional pianist named Therese Jansen. Sonatas 50 and 52 are difficult to play and almost symphonic in scope. As does much of Haydn, they conceal a great deal of art and skill underneath what appears to be delightfully accessible music. The sonata no. 50 in C major develops a simple, spare theme in many ways over the course of a spacious opening movement. (In the development of this sonata, Haydn gave the only pedal marking he offered in his solo keyboard compositions.) It is followed by a lyrical slow movement and a short, humorous conclusion with pauses, backtracking, and false endings. Sonata no. 52 in E-flat major is a broad spacious work, with an opening movement that develops a variety of themes, in contrast to the single-themed no. 50, a harmonically complex and deeply chordal slow movement, and a virtuosic conclusion.

Those listeners who are new to Haydn's sonatas will get an excellent overview of them in this fine CD.

Robin Friedman
32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the fire? June 23 2007
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Marc-Andre Hamelin's twofer of Haydn piano sonatas details most of the master's later sonatas in stylisitic performances that sometimes get a bit too dramatic and use too much pedal. Hamelin is a world-class player recorded well here who has some affinity for this music. My principal question when listening to these is, "Where's the fire?" Hamelin uses tempo more attuned to the keyboard music of Antonio Vivaldi, had he written any, than the witty and relaxed Josef Haydn. For all his fine quailties, Hamelin simply plays too fast too often, as if he's trying to set some sort of world speed record.

I recommend anyone looking to invest in a two-CD set of Hadyn sonatas to first sample the classic set by Alfred Brendel Piano Sonatas that's been around more than 20 years. He is more mature and more temperate playing than what's provided by this viruoso. Brendel is expert in this repertoire and always adheres to Haydn's style and temperament. Some other famous players have done well with these sonatas, also. Sviatoslav Richter loved Haydn and recorded many of the sonatas on concert and studio recordings over his career. Virtuoso colorist keyboard virtuoso Mikhail Pletnev recorded a handful of the sonatas including one of the best versions of the "English" sonata ever recorded. Try his recordings on Virgin and compare them to Hamelin, who is a fine player but is intemperate.
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