Notes and Editorial Reviews
It’s still hard to believe that this music remains, relatively speaking, little known. These are marvelous works: every one of them has something inspired to capture your attention. In Sonata No. 38, that would have to be the central Adagio (sound clip), one of those touchstone classical melodies that seem to sum up all that was most beautiful in 18th century music. Sonata No. 40 has only two movements, an intricate opening Moderato and a charming concluding Minuet.
Like No. 38, Sonata No. 30 is a substantial work in three movements, concluding with a refreshing finale that flirts with Haydn’s Hungarian style (second sample). Bavouzet’s aptly spiky articulation of the main theme
reminds us that Haydn’s early sonatas were likely composed with the harpsichord in mind, but they lose nothing (and gain much) from being played on a modern piano.
This program also includes the moody Variations in F minor. Bavouzet’s interpretation is aptly pre-romantic: unusually fluid in terms of large-scale phrasing and tempo rubato, but rhythmically sharp within the bar lines. We also get to hear, as a separate bonus track, Haydn’s original, shorter cadenza/coda, without that astonishing tragic eruption that vaults the music forward into the 19th century. I’m not sure I will ever need to hear it again, but it’s interesting to have, and Bavouzet smartly plays the final version of the piece as a first option. Between Bavouzet and Hamelin (Hyperion), Haydn lovers are in keyboard heaven.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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