A few years after a complete recording of Mozart’s solo piano works that has gradually come to be regarded as a benchmark, Kristian Bezuidenhout has taken all the time he needed to tackle Haydn, the other towering figure of the Viennese Classical keyboard repertory: “Preparing for this recording has been a vivid reminder that it is remarkably difficult to play Haydn’s music well, but that with enough care, and attention to detail, his music has the potential to come jumping from the page. It would be hubris to suggest that I am even close to unlocking any of its secrets, but I am so humbled by the sheer beauty, humanity, wit and delightful irony of this music, that theRead more desire to continue is irresistible.”
The listener is drawn in by the myriad subtleties of Bezuidenhout’s playing and by the glorious sounds he draws from his instrument. Soon you’re hanging on every note of this sequence that seems to travel from darkness to darkness. Most important, though, is Bezuidenhout’s playing itself. Technique is obviously not an issue. Decoration, too, is sparing rather than trowelled on. This is the very opposite of ‘look-at me’ pianism.