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Haydn Piano Sonatas

Emanuel Ax Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £20.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 April 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00008WT4W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,678 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Allegro Moderato
2. II. Adagio
3. III. Finale. Presto
4. I. Allegro
5. II. Adagio
6. III. Tempo Di Minuetto
7. I. Moderato
8. II. Andante
9. III. Finale. Allegro Di Molto
10. I. Moderato
11. II. Scherzando. Allegro Con Brio
12. III. Menuet And Trio. Moderato
13. I. Moderato
14. II. Menuetto
15. III. Rondo. Presto

Product Description

BBC Review

The classical piano sonata doesn't seem to achieve mass appeal until you reach Beethoven's contributions. Mozart's Sonatas are appreciated, but not really taken to people's hearts in the way that the 'Moonlight', 'Hammerklavier' or 'Appassionata' manage. The same is true of Haydn's 60-plus examples, despite recordings from some distinguished pianists, and despite the attentions of someone like Ronald Brautigam on BIS, whose Haydn on fortepiano has been very well received. But it's still seen as specialist territory...even more so when you throw a period instrument into the works.

But here's a new CD that deserves to find a wider audience for Haydn's intimate but inspired sonatas; it's from Emanuel Ax, who manages to have a foot in each camp without compromising either. It's a modern concert grand, but Ax is also an expert interpreter on fortepiano, and he captures something of the sonority of the earlier instruments in the way he plays here...a crispness of attack and articulation that's reminiscent even of a harpsichord, yet with the sustain of the modern piano to warm the sound, without losing any of the brilliance of his fingerwork.

Try the Minuet finale of No. 34 for this exhilarating precision; The opening of No. 49 has all the weight and drama you could ask for, yet the delicate Minuet and Trio that ends the Sonata is gossamer light, gently questioning. Ax is fully alive to Haydn's humour as well, as you'll hear in the Presto ending of No. 35 - or if you want a perfect example of his balance between period style and interpretative instinct, you'll find it in the slow movement of the Sonata No. 31 in A flat, which sings, beautifully.

Without Haydn's Sonatas, it's hard to imagine what Beethoven's would have been, and these works really ought to be more highly, and widely, regarded. Emanuel Ax is a worthy champion, and this third disc of Haydn Sonatas for Sony is his finest. For the moment...

Like This? Try These:

CPE Bach: Sonatas and Rondos (Mikhail Pletnev)

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas (Artur Pizarro)

JS Bach: The Toccatas (Angela Hewitt) --Andrew McGregor

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous fingers 21 May 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I first heard this pianist onRadio 3 playing the Haydn. I loved it and immediately
Ordered a copy.....absolutely gorgeous playing
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sterling Performance of Very Special Sonatas 7 Oct 2008
By M. Cunningham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Emanuel Ax's subtle sensitivity and crystal clear tone suit these beautiful sonatas perfectly. For the listener who appreciates fine phrasing, and the subtle appreciation of every note, it doesn't get any better than this. Haydn truly understood the piano ("clavier"), and he knew how to use it to the fullest. And Emanuel Ax truly understands Haydn. The combination makes for wonderful music. If you need lots of loud, dramatic playing to catch your attention, then this is not for you. If you like clarity, refinement, and sterling silver tone, you will love this CD. By the way, the CD sound quality is top-notch.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emmanuel Ax playing Haydn... 18 May 2004
By Ted Ricks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I discovered this album via this year's Grammy Awards. Yes, I know these awards are sometimes politically motivated, but regardless, the sonatas and Emmanuel Ax' performance are wonderful and impeccable. The first movement of the 29th Sonata is a delight and like much of Haydn has some basis in Austrian folk songs. You hear that in Haydn anyway and this is a good example. Because he uses fewer notes than his wunderkind, Wolfgang Mozart, the tones seem more memorable and truer. I am buying the other two Ax performances of Haydn's sonatas.
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CONSPICUOUS ABSENCE 31 Aug 2006
By Melvyn M. Sobel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Released in 2003, after a nearly ten year hiatus, this third volume is what finally appears to be a bonafide Ax Haydn sonatas traversal; but, unfortunately, given the lapses in real time its completion may take decades. The upside to this is, however, the evolution of the artist and his perception of these works. In this latest recording, Ax eschews his former romantic proclivities and adopts a patently classical stance. Somewhat now restrained is the memorable sensitivity Ax brought to Haydn, the warm illumination and characteristic gentleness. Instead, the sonatas bristle, the playing articulate, manicured and direct. Through spare use of pedal, Ax delivers clean attacks and crisp execution, tending to propel the compositions with a somewhat austere virtuosity. This cool approach seems anomalous for Ax and, as well, Haydn. Distance does not, in this case, make the heart grow fonder. The recording, in addition, only accentuates what may be the artist's disappointing new preferences for frugal sonority, percussive staccato and stylistic objectivity.

[Running time: 77:33]
5.0 out of 5 stars Haydn of the Highest Order 27 Nov 2013
By Michael A. Brocato - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Truly a stunning achievement, this is a wonderful recording from many aspects. Emanuel Ax performs the Haydn piano repertoire with the finesse and careful attention to detail that they truly deserve. His touch and tone is pure are clear and ringing. He provides wonderful contrast in moods from the subtle wit Haydn could pen in these works, to the most austere moments. These sonatas, and in particular performances such as these , deserve a much more prominent place in the current concert repertoire...but are far too often overlooked.

Other factors making this a splendid recording... (1) the piano technician who prepared the instrument for these recordings was "spot on" in getting the instrument to top shape for the crisp, even touch and technique of Ax. (2) the engineers did a great job of placing the microphones and picking a studio or hall that allows this musical performance to really ring forth at the loudest moments without distortion, yet also pick up the small nuances of Ax's brilliant pianissimo passages. (3) the selections are far from "hackneyed"...in fact, just the opposite. This recording, as I stated earlier, truly could stand as a testament to provide a strong case to hear Haydn performed more often.

I believe that it was intended for Ax to record the entire output of Haydn's Piano Sonatas, but after 3 volumes, the project was either cancelled or put on hold...truly unfortunate. Considering the number of complete Beethoven and Mozart cycles readily available (and I am not complaining...I own multiple sets of each myself) it is unfortunate that we do not see many major artists, the likes of Emanuel Ax, with such an offering. Honestly, I think that it is more of a decision by artist and repertoire executives than the artists themselves... gosh knows, "money talks!"
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary performance 7 Jun 2013
By L. Polgar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Recently, I bought the complete recordings of the Haydn sonatas with John Mccabe (artist). While I am very pleased with them-technically spot on, I noticed immediately how they lacked a certain romantic je ne sais quoi when compared to the playing by Emanuel Ax (1st recording. Great Performances). Although I read good reports online about the 2nd and 3rd recordings in the Ax series of these pieces, the reviewers seemed to think they lacked the fire of the 1st set as he had adopted a more classical style to his approach.....I bought them anyway to hear for myself; and, glad I did. While listening to the Mccabe recordings, the mail came with the Ax recordings and I immediately put them on to listen. POW! The difference is remarkable. Instead of hearing a technically correct, well played Haydn sonata...the room suddenly was flooded with 'music' with an almost 'dance-like' quality. While he (Ax) did not record the complete set of Haydn sonatas, forget the box set with John Mccabe and buy all three of the Emanuel Ax recordings of these pieces.
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