Notes and Editorial Reviews
Naxos's first issue in Jeno Jando's complete edition of Haydn's piano sonatas is particularly welcome. Sadly, John McCabe's excellent Decca recordings (10/75, 9/76, 10/77) are no longer available and, surprisingly, there is no other complete version currently in the catalogue.
The keyboard sonatas which Haydn originally intended for piano, such as the four considered here, show the composer's exploration of the instrument's capacity for greater dynamic variation. Jando is sensitively responsive to the relationship between motif and dynamics which is particularly evident in the E flat and D major Sonatas, Nos. 59 and 61 respectively. Aided by clear recorded sound, Jando's satisfying warmth in the lyrical passages provides an
effective dramatic contrast to his crisp, positive approach in the livelier music.
Jando's glittering technique has a high profile in the other two sonatas in the programme. Pletnev's recordings of the same pieces are no less impressive technically but, in the C major Sonata, No. 60, he takes more liberties than Jando does. In the finale, for example, his exaggeration of the silences emphasizes the movement's sectional character. However, Pletnev's charm lies in the sheer musical personality of his playing and, in matters of articulation and shaping of thematic material, his performances leave a deep and lasting impression.
Jando's stylistically well-turned readings are less controversial, but they lack nothing in excitement. Sample the finale of the E flat Sonata, No. 62, where the wealth of expressive detail at an extremely fast tempo is breathtaking. Thus, with Jando's highly engaging playing in such attractive recordings as these, Naxos have ensured that many will want to start collecting this Haydn piano sonata series.
-- Gramophone [6/1994]
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