Notes and Editorial Reviews
Having spent the past couple of days lining up reviews of, and listening (again) to, Wagner’s Ring operas, I can’t even begin to describe just how refreshing it has been to turn to this disc of Haydn sonatas, the fifth release in Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s superb ongoing cycle. Imagine my surprise, then, to see in the booklet that Bavouzet has dedicated this disc to Lady Solti. I guest sometimes there’s no escaping Wagner, or those who conducted him, or those married to those who conducted him!
These sonatas aren’t at all well known, but as so often with Haydn their high quality is evident in every note. Bavouzet singles out the first movement of Sonata No. 12 for its purity and
simplicity, and it is exquisite–and exquisitely played. He became so fascinated with the minor-key trio of the minuet that he included his own musings on it, at much slower tempo, as a bonus track. This isn’t a gimmick. It is fascinating to see an artist become so deeply engaged with the music, particularly music usually so taken for granted or ignored.
The first three sonatas here, Nos. 12, 15, and 37 have three movements, but not necessarily in the obvious fast-slow-fast form, as the opening Andante of No. 12 reveals. The remaining three, Nos. 54-56 (Hob. 41-43) have two movements each, and were dedicated to Princess Marie Esterházy. Although intended for the amateur market, their simplicity is deceptive. The largest movement here is the opening Andante con espressione of the D major Sonata (No. 56), which lasts more than eight minutes and contains a world of feeling.
In short, these are lovely works, and Bavouzet’s thoughtfulness, dedication to the cause, and immaculate technique are everywhere in evidence, just as they have been on previous releases in this series. Try this disc. It will make you feel young, or keep you that way if you already are.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Epilogue by Spoken Word
Venue: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs.
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