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Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Vol 1 [Import]

Franz Joseph Haydn , Marc-Andre Hamelin Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Vol 1 + Haydn: Piano Sonatas Vol.2 + Haydn: Piano Sonatas Vol.3
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Product Details

  • Performer: Marc-Andre Hamelin
  • Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn
  • Audio CD (April 10, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B000N2H832
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,267 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Allegro
2. Adagio
3. Allegro Molto
4. Allegretto Innocentemente
5. Presto
6. Allegretto Moderato
7. Adagio
8. Finale: Presto
9. Allegro
10. Allegro Di Molto
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Moderato
2. Adagio
3. Finale: Presto
4. Moderato
5. Menuetto-Trio-Menuetto Da Capo
6. Rondo: Presto
7. Allegro
8. Adagio
9. Finale: Presto
10. Allegro Moderato
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Joy of Music April 10, 2007
Format:Audio CD
In my mother's and then later my wife's collection of cookbooks was one called 'The Joy of Cooking.' I can think of no better epithet for this two-CDs-for-the-price-of-one collection of Haydn piano sonatas than 'The Joy of Music.' We know that Haydn was one of the most joyful composers and certainly that adjective applies to his 60 or so piano sonatas (of which there are ten presented here) and there is absolutely no pianist before the public today who conveys the joy of music-making more than Marc-André Hamelin. Even though I would never have dreamed he would bring out a Haydn sonata collection -- one associates him with less-well-known music, usually of the super-virtuoso sort -- I am thrilled that he did. (And come to think of it, Haydn's sonatas aren't as well known as they deserve to be.) Let me say that this set eclipses any other Haydn sonata recordings I know. It's that simple. There is a such superhuman clarity, such grace, such stylish phrasing, pearly runs, precise figurations, such technical aplomb and such high spirits as to allow me no other conclusion.

The contents of the two CDs are representative of Haydn's entire sonata output, with a couple of the masterful late sonatas -- Nos. 50 in C and 52 in E flat -- cheek by jowl with some of the earlier, less experimental ones, such as No. 23 in F.

It's a wonder to me that Haydn sonatas are not more often played or recorded. Perhaps, like the piano trios, it's because there are so many of them. But if you compare the number of recordings and performances of Mozart sonatas with these gems the disparity is astonishing. I find that I turn to the Haydn sonatas in my own listening more often than I do the Mozarts, although I love both sets of sonatas immoderately.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Almost all of Haydn's artistry is richly rewarding, and I encourage everyone with an interest in Classical music to acquaint themselves with his welcoming genius. Haydn's gift for lapidary musical invention seems nearly inexhaustible, and his piano sonatas are yet another genre where his creativity can be easily approached and enjoyed. I'm grateful to Marc-Andre Hamelin for recording these neglected sonatas with splendid panache, bringing them fresh to an appreciative audience. However, I sometimes feel that Haydn's music is performed skillfully, though without the breadth of humane sympathy it deserves, and I suspect that the full wealth of Haydn's craft is not quite arrayed, here. I won't find fault with Hamelin's talents as a pianist, which are brilliantly polished, nor do I mean to be glib with my critique, but I will say that stylistically, his renderings sound to my ears more like caffeinated Chopin rather than Franz Josef's neo-Classical poise, humor, verve and endearing warmth. I first fell in love with Haydn's piano music through the performances of Bart van Oort, on pianoforte (Brilliant Classics label) and John McCabe, on modern piano (London/Decca label). Unfortunately, these recordings seem to be available only as complete sets of the Haydn sonatas, which would be too great an investment for most listeners. A relatively inexpensive introduction to the abundant pleasures of Haydn's piano pieces can be found through the recordings of Alfred Brendel, such as this album available here on Amazon: Haydn: 3 Piano Sonatas; Fantasia in C; Adagio in F. Brendel's performance is erudite and heartfelt, if somewhat romantic. Read more ›
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is Haydn presented at a gallop. Actually, sometimes it's presented at the speed of a 340HP DOC engine. I really can't understand what people get out of music like this, other than razzle-dazzle, definitely not what Haydn is about. Marc-Andre Hamelin's performances fly out of the gate, but the genial, jaunty and joyous qualities (not trying for alliteration there, it just fit) are lost. This is very one-dimensional Haydn, and the aim seems to simply be to play as quickly as possible.

Slow movements lack that soulful pensiveness. The allegro finales don't have the rollicking good time. The opening allegros don't have that philosophical quality. This is almost computer-like playing. It certainly doesn't bridge the gap from the Rococo to Mozart and Beethoven.

Some here are impressed by MAH's technique. I am not. To me he sounds colorless, brittle and sometimes even drops notes in very fast passages. I can't escape the feeling that if he were to slow down a little he'd not only not flub the occasional note but also play with more line, more tone and more attention to the big picture, the structure of each movement.

Richter, Ernst Levy, Mikhail Pletnev, heck even Emmanuel Ax have made better recordings, maybe not of all the sonatas here, but of enough that I feel no compulsion to keep this on my shelf. Someone else here mentioned Oort. I haven't heard his Haydn, but have been very impressed by his Chopin set as well as other recordings, so that may be worth checking out as well. But I'd avoid this set. Sound like the "classical" music they play in Starbucks. It's even super-caffeinated.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing music very well played
I read some of the reviews before I played this disc, and it made me feel that I was being dutiful in even putting the CD in the player. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Stanley Crowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Perfect, but Certainly Quite Good
Some of this music is indeed taken too fast for my tastes, but certainly not all, and in a few instances the more rapid tempo actually makes for a better interpretation, I think. Read more
Published 17 months ago by J. R. Trtek
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this album
I love this album.

I see some reviewers think that the pieces were played too quickly.
This may be so. Read more
Published on May 4, 2012 by TomGregg
5.0 out of 5 stars A polarizing pianist
The reviews for this pair of CDs seem almost as partisan as politics in Washington, c. 2011. To help anyone who is undecided after reading these conflicting reviews. Read more
Published on August 22, 2011 by S. H. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars The notes are all there, but where's the rest?
I consider myself an enthusiast of Marc-André Hamelin's playing, but not an idolater. Hamlin is obviously a curious musician, playing boatloads of repertoire few bother to... Read more
Published on October 15, 2010 by Hank Drake
5.0 out of 5 stars Haydn's piano sonatas revived
Marc-André Hamelin has made himself noted for his amazing virtuosity when playing composers like Alkan and Godowski et al. Read more
Published on February 18, 2010 by Bing-Alguin
1.0 out of 5 stars The Haydn express
This haydn is impossible to listen to, what's the rush? the playing is so fast and one dimensional, you'll never know what hits your ears.
Mr. Read more
Published on January 15, 2010 by Julian
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Sound Like Haydn
Hamelin play so fast that the "feel of Haydn" cannot be detected. When I first listened to this CD my thought was that Hamelin's playing was about Hamelin and not Haydn. Read more
Published on March 20, 2009 by Robert Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Haydn Meets the 21rst Century
I can't quit listening to these performances. I love them.

It is very interesting to read so many divergent reviews. Read more
Published on July 12, 2008 by Teop Tnomrev
1.0 out of 5 stars Cardboard, dinky, and silly
Mr. Grabowski wrote a decent review (September 18, 2007) of this CD. Except that I think both his comments and rating were a little too kind. Read more
Published on May 19, 2008 by J. Renouf
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