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Ronald Brautigam Plays Joseph Haydn Concertos / Mortensen


Release Date: 03/01/2005 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1318   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam
Conductor:  Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Copenhagen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Hot on the heels of Harmonia Mundi's knockout disc of Haydn piano concertos with Andreas Staier comes this effort by Ronald Brautigam, who also has completed an outstanding survey of the complete piano sonatas and other keyboard works. Choice between them is practically impossible. Both feature stupendous solo work from an artist fully in tune with the both the composer and his idiom, and both are spectacularly well recorded (this disc places the microphones a touch farther back from the players with no loss of clarity or impact). In one respect I find this disc clearly superior: the playing of Concerto Copenhagen under Lars Ulrik Mortensen outclasses the otherwise excellent efforts of the
Read more Freiburger Barockorchester for HM. Listen to any of the outer movements, or to the thrilling "Hungarian" episodes in the finale of Concerto No. 11, and you will immediately realize that it's possible to maximize both color and character without any cost in sheer beauty of tone.

Happily, the two discs are different enough in terms of content so as to make owning both a relatively guilt-free pleasure. Staier offers Concertos Nos. 4, 11, and 6 (for keyboard and violin). Brautigam has Nos. 4, 11, 2, and 3. Concerto No. 2 originally was written for organ, but it sounds just fine as played on the fortepiano. It's an extremely early work dating from the 1750s, and it's also the largest piece on the disc, full of vitality and effective contrasts between the soloist and the orchestra (which includes a continuo harpsichord). All told, there is about 40 minutes of music on this disc (75 minutes in total) that you will not find on Staier's (64 minutes). Brautigam's instrument sounds particularly well-chosen for this music. It has a quick action and a wide dynamic range that makes the fast movements really sparkle, but it also allows sufficient legato to project the slow movements with an aptly singing tone. It's worth pointing out in this respect that three of the four middle movements (Concertos Nos. 2-4) are Adagio or slower, and Brautigam shapes them with remarkable taste and finesse. This disc constitutes a terrific adjunct to the complete sonata cycle. Truly, we are spoiled for choice. Fabulous!

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Keyboard in D major, H 18 no 11 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Fortepiano)
Conductor:  Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Copenhagen
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1784; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Length: 16 Minutes 15 Secs. 
2. Concerto for Keyboard in F major, H 18 no 3 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Fortepiano)
Conductor:  Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Copenhagen
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771; Austria 
Length: 18 Minutes 58 Secs. 
3. Concerto for Keyboard in D major, H 18 no 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Fortepiano)
Conductor:  Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Copenhagen
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1767; Austria 
Length: 21 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4. Concerto for Keyboard in G major, H 18 no 4 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Fortepiano)
Conductor:  Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Copenhagen
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1781; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Length: 17 Minutes 58 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Keyboard Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:11: I. Vivace
Keyboard Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:11: II. Un poco adagio
Keyboard Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:11: III. Rondo all' Ungarese. Allegro assai
Keyboard Concerto in F major, Hob.XVIII:3: I. Allegro
Keyboard Concerto in F major, Hob.XVIII:3: II. Largo cantabile
Keyboard Concerto in F major, Hob.XVIII:3: III. Presto
Keyboard Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:2: I. Allegro moderato
Keyboard Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:2: II. Adagio molto
Keyboard Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:2: III. Allegro
Keyboard Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:4: I. Allegro
Keyboard Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:4: II. Adagio
Keyboard Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:4: III. Rondo. Presto

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