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Haydn: Piano Concertos No 3, 4, 9, 11 / Sebastian Knauer


Release Date: 03/25/2008 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570485   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer
Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HAYDN Piano Concertos: in F, Hob XVIII:3; in D, Hob XVIII:11; in G, Hob XVIII: 4; in G, Hob XVIII: 9 Sebastian Knauer (pn); Helmut Müller-Brühl, cond; Cologne CO NAXOS 8.570485 (77:59)


Naxos finds room for a fourth Hob XVIII concerto (No. 9), but there is little evidence that Haydn was Read more its author—I hear no trace of my man in its Adagio. No matter; it is a charming work, composed with enough competence to be considered a Haydn work. The c. 1780 D-Major Concerto was written with the new fortepiano in mind; the others, from c. 1765 to 1770, for harpsichord. Because the three accepted Haydn keyboard concertos nicely fill a CD, the lesser ones get recorded almost as often as the D Major, but are seldom played on a harpsichord.


Knauer is a superb technician, with smooth, even runs and pearly tone. His playing earns comparison to that of Leif Ove Andsnes on an EMI disc that has been my favorite modern-instruments recording of the three concertos. Andsnes is freer with phrasing, color, and dynamics, which makes his Allegros and Prestos sparkle, but in the Adagios and Largos Knauer’s slow tempos and smooth legato make Andsnes seem a touch fussy. Accompaniments are delightful on both sets. The Cologne ensemble includes horns, which were not part of the original F-Major Concerto; it makes very little difference. Andsnes plays his own cadenzas in the early concertos, Haydn’s in the D-Major. Knauer plays longer, equally appropriate cadenzas by Paul Badura-Skoda in all four works.


The grand pianos are a bit much for the early works. Both Naxos and EMI are fine-sounding recordings; the Naxos is warmer and more reverberant, adding to the impression of a 19th-century concert grand, but the EMI isn’t fooling anyone either. Ronald Brautigam’s fortepiano on BIS is a big step toward period practice, but the Knauer and Andsnes discs should please a lot of listeners. For the moment, I am leaning toward Knauer, for those gorgeous, soothing Adagios as well as for the bonus concerto.

FANFARE: James H. North


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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Keyboard in F major, H 18 no 3 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771; Austria 
2.
Concerto for Keyboard in G major, H 18 no 4 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1781; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
3.
Concerto for Keyboard in D major, H 18 no 11 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1784; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
4.
Concerto for Keyboard in G major, H 18 no 9 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1767  

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto in F major, Hob.XVIII:3: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto in F major, Hob.XVIII:3: II. Largo cantabile
Piano Concerto in F major, Hob.XVIII:3: III. Finale: Presto
Keyboard Concertino in C major, Hob. XIV:11: I. Vivace
Keyboard Concertino in C major, Hob. XIV:11: II. Un poco adagio
Keyboard Concertino in C major, Hob. XIV:11: III. Rondo all'ungarese: Allegro assai
Keyboard Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:4: I. Allegro
Keyboard Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:4: II. Adagio cantabile
Keyboard Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:4: III. Rondo: Presto
Piano Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:9: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:9: II. Adagio
Piano Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:9: III. Tempo di Meneutto

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