is recognised today as one of the world's finest interpreters of Haydn's piano works, International Piano having described him as 'Haydn's greatest contemporary keyboard exponent.' In the first five volumes of his ongoing series devoted to Haydn's sonatas he has been applauded for his intelligent musicianship, crisp technique, and sheer sense of joy in the music. In this concerto recording he performs in partnership with the conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy, the two united by an admiration for Haydn's infectious good humour and art of the unexpected.
Of the twelve keyboard concertos carrying Haydn's name, the third, fourth, and eleventh, recorded here, are the best known. The publication history of the rest casts doubt on their authenticity; many imitations were attributed to Haydn by publishers wanting to cash in on his wild popularity in Europe during his life.
The concertos in F and G major are early works, in an early style, simply constructed with graceful and clear keyboard writing. One finds plenty of Haydnesque charm and spirit in these scores, both of which also feature specially touching slow movements. By contrast, the Concerto in D major is a work of the composer's maturity, full of strikingly dramatic contrasts and characteristic wit. The infectious Hungarian Rondo finale brings the concerto to a rousing conclusion and surely accounts for much of its enduring popularity.
"Jean-Efflam Bavouset has proved himself one of today's leading Haydn interpreters-amply so on five volumes of sonatas(and counting), each enthusiastically reviewed. He now presents the three authentic keyboard concertos in performances that demonstrate his innate love and understanding of this music in performances of the expected vivacity and insight." --GRAMOPHONE EDITOR'S CHOICE, Sept'14
Whatever path Bavouzet has taken, his performances reflect an acute awareness of the style, scale and expressive scope of eighteenth-century performance practice as it is understood today. The Chandos engineers have captured this compelling music-making in all its dimension and detail. Very highly recommended. --IRR, Oct'14
After garnering rave reviews for his five volumes of Haydn's sonatas, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet moves on to Haydns three genuine (i.e. non-spurious) keyboard concertos, presented in chronological order of composition and adorned with Bavouzet's own cadenzas. In the G and D major concertos these are Haydnesque enough but in the F major he offers a cheeky 21st-century addition nothing to frighten the horses in the manner of Schnabel or Godowsky's cadenzas to Mozart concertos but it underlines the personal approach Bavouzet brings to these life-affirming works. He adds his own ornaments and decorations to the F major concerto, some passages in the opening allegro played with an almost Beethovenian muscularity but without obscuring Haydn's smiling presence. Its beautifully realised slow movement might be a wordless aria from a cantata. In the D major concerto, the best known of the three, Bavouzet adds his own dash of paprika to the all Ungherese finale, aided and abetted throughout by the alert Manchester players and Gábor Takács-Nagy. ***** --Sinfini Music , 15/10/14
Bavouzet, who received a 2014 Gramophone magazine award for his Chandos set of Prokofiev s five piano concertos, here reaffirms his versatility. He clearly identifies with the pieces classical contours and quirky spirit. If the keyboard part is the focus of attention, Bavouzet is none the less lucky to have such like-minded, cheery support from theManchester Camerata. Together they make the music breathe and leap off the page. The slow movements are finely spun: Bavouzet's cadenza of the F major Concerto taking its cue from the meditative melodic line to explore realms of reflective harmony that Haydn might not have recognised but which seem thoroughly apt. The more familiar D major Concerto confirms Bavouzet is attuned to the music's freshness and vital spark.***** --Telegraph, 21/10/14
Bavouzet's decorations of line are as stylish as they are fascinating and delightful. ***** --International pianist, Jan /Feb'15