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Haydn: Piano Sonatas Vol.1


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Biography

An exclusive recording artist for Chandos, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet received a Gramophone Award in 2011 for his recording of works by Debussy and Ravel (with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Yan Pascal Tortelier) and his recording of the Bartók Concerti (with Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic) was shortlisted in the concerto category. He has won multiple awards for his recording of ... Read more in Amazon's Jean-Efflam Bavouzet Store

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Haydn: Piano Sonatas Vol.1 + Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 + Haydn: Piano Sonatas Vol. 5 [Jean-Efflam Bavouzet] [Chando: CHAN 10763]
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Product details

  • Conductor: -
  • Composer: F.J. Haydn
  • Audio CD (1 Mar. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B003627OMG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,049 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Sonata in D Major, No. 39, (Hob. XVI: 24)
2. Piano Sonata in B Minor, No. 47, (Hob. XVI: 32)
3. Piano Sonata in a Flat Major, No. 31, (Hob. XVI: 46)
4. Piano Sonata in C Sharp Minor, No. 49, (Hob. XVI: 36)

Product Description

Product Description

Sonates pour piano n°39, 47, 31 & 49 / Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano

Review

Clarity of line is paramount in this music and that is what Bavouset delivers.Discreet ornamentation adds allure to music that offers majesty and sweetness, and ranges from the grand gesture to Haydn's trademark high jinks. An editors choice --The Gramophone.May 2010

One of the TOP ALBUMS OF 2010 --Sunday Times

One of the TOP ALBUMS OF 2010 --Sunday Times

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
Until Jean-Efflam Bavouzet came out with his series of CDs of all the piano music of Debussy, I'd never heard of him. But those Debussy CDs made me (literally) sit up and listen. Debussy: Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 1, Debussy: Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 2, Debussy: Complete Works For Piano, Vol. 3, Debussy: Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 4, Debussy: Complete Works for Piano Vol. 5 I wasn't the only one who was struck by the beauty of his playing; he was excitedly praised in Gramophone, Fanfare, and American Record Guide and he got a cover story in International Piano. Those CDs were easily the best Debussy I'd heard since the fabled Gieseking recordings of half a century ago and, of course, are in much better sound. Now he has turned his attention to the piano sonatas of Haydn. This issue is labeled Vol. 1, so I am assuming he intends to record all 60 or so of them. We have not lacked for wonderful Haydn piano recordings. One remembers those of John McCabe Haydn: The Complete Piano Sonatas and especially the recent two sets by Marc-André Hamelin ...Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 24 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent disc of Haydn's piano sonatas. I love Haydn's piano music; in my view it is the equal of Mozart's and deserves to be much better known. It has all of Haydn's trademark wit and joy, but also real tenderness and beauty and a depth that marks it out as genuinely great piano music.

This is the first volume of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's projected complete cycle. I have so far heard the first four volumes, and every one is terrific. Bavouzet's admirable technique allows him to get right into the heart of the music. He articulates it very crisply and preserves the structures so essential to Haydn but uses just the right amount of rubato and subtle phrasing to convey the music's meaning and give it real character. He understands, crucially, that Haydn often said serious things in a witty way so that the depth comes through the often melodious and genial air. It is exemplary Haydn playing, I think.

With excellent recorded sound and very full notes this is a very good disc all round. This series won't depose my much-loved Brendel and Schornsheim recordings in my affections, but it is as good in many ways and stands very well alongside them. Very warmly recommended.

(I would also recommend Brendel: Haydn: Piano Sonatas
and Schornsheim: Haydn: Complete Piano Sonatas )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Right Up There with Hamelin's Haydn 2 April 2010
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Until Jean-Efflam Bavouzet came out with his series of CDs of all the piano music of Debussy, I'd never heard of him. But those Debussy CDs made me (literally) sit up and listen. Debussy: Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 1, Debussy: Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 2, Debussy: Complete Works For Piano, Vol. 3, Debussy: Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 4, Debussy: Complete Works for Piano Vol. 5 I wasn't the only one who was struck by the beauty of his playing; he was excitedly praised in Gramophone, Fanfare, and American Record Guide and he got a cover story in International Piano. Those CDs were easily the best Debussy I'd heard since the fabled Gieseking recordings of half a century ago and, of course, are in much better sound. Now he has turned his attention to the piano sonatas of Haydn. This issue is labeled Vol. 1, so I am assuming he intends to record all 60 or so of them. We have not lacked for wonderful Haydn piano recordings. One remembers those of John McCabe Haydn: The Complete Piano Sonatas and especially the recent two sets by Marc-André Hamelin Haydn: Piano Sonatas & Haydn: Piano Sonatas Vol.2. One would not immediately think that a Debussy player would be suited for Haydn. But if one listens to Bavouzet's Debussy one recognizes that, in addition to flawless technique, he gave Debussy the kind of rhythmic incisiveness and spine that they often don't get. And those are two things that Haydn also requires.

The four sonatas featured here are: Sonata No. 39 (Hob. XVI:24) in D major, No. 47 (Hob. XVI:32) in B minor, No. 31 (Hob. XVI:46) in A flat major, and No. 49 (Hob. XVI:36) in C sharp minor, played in that order. [Somewhat confusingly, the booklet note by Haydn scholar Marc Vignal (author of the excellent 'Joseph Haydn, l'homme et son oeuvre') comments about the sonatas in the order in which they were composed, at odds with the order in which they are played on this disc.]

The first movement of Sonata No. 39 is notable for its rapid repeated notes which Bavouzet plays with excitement and precision. It was almost certainly written for harpsichord rather than piano. Vignal calls its first movement Mozartian; I would prefer to call it Scarlattian. Whatever you call it, it makes a brilliant impression. The Adagio sounds rather old-fashioned for its year of composition, 1774, with its Bachian cantilena. It leads without pause in a Presto finale of great virtuosity. It features irregular phrase-lengths and much tossing of thematic fragments from one hand to other. Formally this movement is in variation form with an elaborated coda.

The first theme of the powerful Sonata no. 47 starts with two long notes followed by a sharp dotted-note reply. The key of B minor is accentuated until the end of the exposition when the harmony shifts gradually to the relative major key of D. The gentle Minuet is in B major and represents an island of tranquility between the two outer movements. Drama returns in the whirling Presto finale, a sonata-allegro movement that features some of the most virtuosic writing in all of Haydn's writing for piano. Haydn keeps ratcheting up the tension to the very end with forceful unisons leading to the final two fierce chords.

Sonata No. 31 is unusual in that all three of its movements are in sonata-allegro form. The first movement has Haydnesque surprises in plenty. Its development is very long for Haydn (even longer than the exposition) and features a kind of drumming in the left hand. The Adagio has marvelous three-part counterpoint and its recapitulation is truncated. Bavouzet has written his own cadenza for this movement leading into the short recapitulation; it has some mildly anachronistic harmonies (but nothing like the shockingly modern cadenza by Alfred Schnittke that Gidon Kremer played in his recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto!). Indeed, unless you're listening particularly acutely you might not even notice this. It is expertly done. The Presto finale is a rustic romp of a dance. I felt, for the only time on this CD, that Bavouzet played the movement a little too quickly, but it certainly is exciting.

The Sonata No. 49 opens with two elements that dominate the proceedings throughout: a forceful unison, and a plaintive answering motif. This first movement is marked Moderato, a tempo that tends to emphasize the sad or peremptory nature of its C sharp minor key signature. The second movement is an Allegro con brio; thus the sonata's arrangement of movements is slow - fast - slow, the reverse of the form usual for the time. This fast movement is a set of alternating variations on unrelated themes ( ABA'B'A" plus coda). The sonata concludes with a Minuet whose minor key main sections bracket an almost Schubertian major key Trio.

Bavouzet's playing is cleanly etched, brilliantly dramatic, menacing or briskly energetic where it needs to be and consolatory and tender in the sections of repose. He takes all the repeats and subtly ornaments them. This is extraordinary Haydn playing and I look forward to further issues in this series.

Scott Morrison
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great Haydn playing 22 Jun. 2010
By Bing-Alguin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is most remarkable! While I didn't appreciated Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's Debussy interpretations as much as many did, admirable and brilliant though they are, but lacking some of the impressionist magic prevalent in Gieseking's, Michelangeli's and Ousset's outstanding playing, I surrender totally to his Haydn interpretations. I now consider Bavouzet's performances to be, up to now, the ideal form of playing this superb and radiant piano music that never had a real congenially superior interpreter. Is Bavouzet the perfection of Haydn playing? With his complete and composed distinction and his personal liveliness, his never-failing technique and miraculous timing - necessary when performing Haydn -, his sense of humour and his rich, emotional undertones, he gives us an truly exciting experience of what Haydn's piano music really is.
You can feel it already in the first of the four sonatas here introduced: No 39 in D major. It is a glorious beginning, and the following ones: No 31 in A flat major, No 47 in B minor and No 49 in C sharp minor, are as convincing and as much arousing enthusiasm. Listen in particular to the flashing Presto in No 47, the Adagio in No 31 with Bavouzet's own cadenza, and the Scherzando in No 49!
This is only the first volume in a projected series. There is no doubt I will tuck right into the rest of them, as fast as they appear!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Perfect music, fabulous playing 18 Aug. 2011
By scholarboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As G.B. Shaw and H.L. Mencken both stated, Haydn created some of the most perfect music ever. This truly wonderful recording in excellent sound show why: both in the clarity of the playing and the musicianship. As much as I have always loved my Brendel and McCabe Haydn (both on vinyl) I am turning more and more to this fantastic CD. Bavouzet seems to capture the essence of each piece, varying his tone and articulation. WONDERFUL!
Excellent Haydn 24 Oct. 2012
By Sid Nuncius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent disc of Haydn's piano sonatas. I love Haydn's piano music; in my view it is the equal of Mozart's and deserves to be much better known. It has all of Haydn's trademark wit and joy, but also real tenderness and beauty and a depth that marks it out as genuinely great piano music.

This is the first volume of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's projected complete cycle. I have so far heard the first four volumes, and every one is terrific. Bavouzet's admirable technique allows him to get right into the heart of the music. He articulates it very crisply and preserves the structures so essential to Haydn but uses just the right amount of rubato and subtle phrasing to convey the music's meaning and give it real character. He understands, crucially, that Haydn often said serious things in a witty way so that the depth comes through the often melodious and genial air. It is exemplary Haydn playing, I think.

With excellent recorded sound and very full notes this is a very good disc all round. This series won't depose my much-loved Brendel and Schornsheim recordings in my affections, but it is as good in many ways and stands very well alongside them. Very warmly recommended.

(I would also recommend Brendel: Haydn: Piano Sonatas
and Schornsheim: Haydn: Complete Piano Sonatas )
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