Notes and Editorial Reviews
We badly need a great Haydn sonata cycle on a modern instrument, and on evidence here Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's promises to be just the ticket. It's fabulous, as wonderful in its own way as was his Debussy cycle for this same label. His approach couldn't be more intelligent: he takes almost all repeats, except in such places as the slow movement of Sonata No. 31 in A-flat (already 24 minutes long), where he adds a fine cadenza of his own making. In quick movements, where final chords seem to render a second-half repeat redundant, he leaves them out the first time through, a practice that I have long believed ought to be standard in such cases. It works wonderfully well.
this is as good as it gets. Bavouzet ornaments repeats with complete naturalness, knows how to phrase a melody without distending the tempo unduly, and exploits the resources of the modern piano in a way that serves the music completely. His touch in such places as the finale of the B minor sonata (No. 47) is phenomenally articulate. In the first movement of No. 31 his right and left hands handle independent dynamics so as to create the same textural layers you might hear through different harpsichord registrations. The sonics are totally at one with the performances: brilliantly vivid, but never hard. I can't wait for Volume 2.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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