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Haydn: Piano Sonatas [Import]

Joseph Haydn , Alfred Brendel Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Price: $48.87 & FREE Shipping. Details
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MP3 Music, 32 Songs, 2009 $37.99  
Audio CD, Import, 2009 $48.87  

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Biography

Alfred Brendel studied piano, composition and conducting in Zagreb and Graz, and completed his piano studies with Edwin Fischer, Paul Baumgartner, and Edward Steuermann. His international career began after winning a prize at the 1949 Busoni Competition and he now performs regularly at the world's major musical centres and festivals. He was the first pianist to record Beethoven's ... Read more in Amazon's Alfred Brendel Store

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Product Details

  • Performer: Alfred Brendel
  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Audio CD (January 5, 2009)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Decca Import
  • ASIN: B001JJX7ME
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,429 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional Haydn from Brendel September 21, 2009
By jsa
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When I started listening to classical music nearly forty years ago, it was Brendel's Mozart concertos that I bought on the budget Turnabout label. Brendel eventually moved to Philips devoting his attention to recording all the Mozart concertos, Beethoven sonatas (twice) among many other things; but I didn't purchase any of these records, having instead acquired Geza Anda's Mozart concerto cycle, Arrau's Beethoven and so forth. And when it came to Haydn, I had sonatas brilliantly performed by Richter scattered across several discs as well as outstanding recitals by Evgeny Koroliov and Maria Bergmann. A few years back I picked up the excellent two-cd set by Andras Schiff and with this felt that my Haydn piano collection was complete.

Then I bought a Brendel disc of three Haydn sonatas along with the Fantasia in F and Adagio in C that received the prestgious Rosette designation from the Penguin Guide. While I am not usually persuaded by this type of thing, in this case Penguin's opinion is justified as this is some of the best Haydn playing on disc, period.

While there were three other Brendel/Haydn discs combined with the aforementioned Haydn recital disc available in a Philips box set, also lauded by both Penguin & Gramophone, it was available only as a special import at an absurdly high price - until now. Universal Music Group, which now owns Philips, Decca, DG etc, recently reissued the Brendel/Haydn box set under the Decca label, still rather expensive but more within reach especially if purchased through one of Amazon's resellers, which is what I did.

Why these sides are being labeled "Legendary Recordings From the Decca Catalogue" is anyone's guess since they were Philips, not Decca recordings. Even the discs themselves are imprinted with Decca LP look-alike art.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden jewel June 23, 2009
By Pavel
Format:Audio CD
I own the original Philips recording - there is no difference except of the lower price. The music is wonderful. Although Haydn's piano sonatas are less known than his symphonies or quartets, they do merit attention. I think there is much higher variety of musical ideas than in Mozart's piano sonatas. Brendel's choice is excellent - if you don't want to own the complete sonatas, this is the first choice. There exists a 2CD compilation by Glenn Gould, which is interesting too. But Brendel's playing is technically flawless and inspired, often revealing the magic behind the apparent simplicity of Haydn's music(listen to the opening of the E flat sonata on disc four).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical refinement: Alfred Brendel playing Haydn June 10, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Among his favourite composers, Alfred Brendel has developed a long and fruitful partnership with Joseph Haydn. Exponent of the Viennese Classicism, Haydn seems to be one of the most suitable of composers to Brendel's playing style, from several reasons.

Mainly, both the composer and his interpreter exhibit generously quite similar qualities when making music, such as: an unfailing wit, a refined sense of humour, and a tireless disposition to play - to play with emotions, with unanswered questions, even with philosophical or ethical themes. Yet, in this intelligent game nothing gets strident. Neither dark-hued accents nor colours of despair arise. A smile is never missing, even though the mood of a slow movement in a certain sonata or some variations could be entirely serious. Everything is light, though - or rather for - deep settled in tradition. The equilibrium comes from a special disposal of the musician with regard to inner and outer worlds. Brendel feels and knows how to convey these particular features, like no other Haydn performer. To better understand what I mean, listen to the slow movement of the Sonata in E flat major Hob. XVI: 49 (Andante cantabile) or enjoy the sparkling finale of the C major Sonata Hob. XVI: 50 (Allegro molto).

Furthermore, one can easily notice that Brendel and Haydn share the musical pleasure of professing the classical poise with elegance and gusto. The harmonies seem simple and obvious, whilst the melodic lines breathe an air of inevitability. This deceptive simplicity seduce first. Nevertheless, the lively finger-work displayed by Brendel makes Haydn gain more distinction, more appeal and potentiates glowing facets of his music (like in from Sonata in C minor Hob. XVI: 20).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duplicate import CD? Still excellent. March 15, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
1. This appears to be the same recording as the 4 disc Philips set, but the used/"new" Decca sets are less expensive than the Philips (which Amazon also has).

edit: Not to mention the even larger price difference between a fully new copy of either label.

2. I've just played through disc one, and the Decca import mastering of these CDs are about as good as it gets for CDs. :)

edit: Currently on disc 3. :)

3. My 2007 copy of Gramophone (reviews of CD DVD & downloads), shows this as a "Great" recording, and I agree. However, they only mention Philips, which made me wonder if the Decca is the same recording/mastering. I'm fairly certain now that the recording is the same, and Decca did a good job with the mastering. :)
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