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Haydn: Piano Sonatas Vol.2 [CD]

Marc-André Hamelin Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £13.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Pianist Marc-André Hamelin’s unique blend of musicianship and virtuosity brings forth interpretations remarkable for their freedom, originality, and prodigious mastery of the piano’s resources. Long known for his bold exploration of unfamiliar pianistic terrain, Mr. Hamelin has increasingly turned his attention to the established masterworks of the piano literature, in ... Read more in Amazon's Marc-André Hamelin Store

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Haydn: Piano Sonatas Vol.2 + Haydn - Piano Sonatas - Marc-André Hamelin + Haydn: Piano Sonatas Volume 3 (Hyperion: CDA67882)
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Product details

  • Performer: Marc Andre-Hamelin
  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Audio CD (27 July 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B002D0WDRS
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,176 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Piano Sonata in E Major, HOB XVI:31
2. Piano Sonata in D Major, HOB XVI:42
3. Piano Sonata in C Major, HOB XVI:35
4. Piano Sonata in E Minor, HOB XVI:34
5. Piano Sonata in a Major, HOB XVI:26
6. Fantasia (Capriccio) in C Major, Hob XVII:4
Disc: 2
1. Sonata 'Un Piccolo Divertimento' (Variations) in F Minor, HOB XVII:6
2. Piano Sonata in E Flat Major, HOB XVI:49
3. Piano Sonata in D Major, HOB XVI:33
4. Piano Sonata in G Major, HOB XVI:39
5. Piano Sonata in C Major, HOB XVI:48

Product Description

CD Description

Marc-André Hamelin's first set of Haydn Piano Sonatas was Hyperion's best-selling release of 2007, and had the critics jostling to acclaim his performances in the highest terms, in particular his expression of the 'physical exhilaration of Haydn's playful inspiration in a way unmatched by any pianist past or present'. His second volume, released in a year where new Haydn recordings are prominent, should surely match the critical and commercial success of the first. Some of Haydn's most alluring and appealing keyboard works are recorded here. The surprising (to some) emotional range of the composer is fully evident in the extraordinarily sensitive and intimate Sonata in E flat major No 49, written for Maria Anna von Genzinger, and the profoundly felt Andante con variazioni in F minor, the composition of which coincided with her death.

Product Description

Sonates n° 31, 42, 35, 34, 26, 49, 33, 39, 48 - Fantaisie (Capriccio), HobXVII:4 - Sonate "Un piccolo divertimento" (Variations), HobXVII:6 / Marc-André Hamelin, piano

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamelin's second volume of Haydn 25 Oct 2009
Format:Audio CD
In many ways, there is little to add to Robin Friedman's excellent review on this page. As one of those who felt that Hamelin's playing in his first volume of Haydn occasionally tended towards unwarranted velocity, I am delighted to find that - to my mind - the tempi feel utterly appropriate. Accordingly, I can scarcely find fault in this set. An example is the finale of Hob.XVI/35. Although it is an avowed Minuet, the score indicates Allegro, and Hamelin would have been justified in picking a pacy tempo that allowed him race through the triplet figures in the G major section from bb.34-38 with a virtuousic flourish. However, Hamelin plays the whole with a self-consciously aristocratic daintiness that marries grace and humour. All the virtues from the first volume remain: clarity, surprise, jest and robustness. Listen to Hamelin revelling in the inordinately long pauses in the playful C major Fantasy, and it is hard not to conclude that this record is a triumph.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamelin's Second Haydn 3 Sep 2009
By Robin Friedman TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
In 2007, the virtuoso pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin released a two-CD compilation of ten piano sonatas by Haydn. The recording received widespread critical acclaim. It became a best-seller for Hyperion, the British record label. The CD also received attention from the Amazon reviewing community with a wide-range of thoughtful reviews on the United States site. Most listeners, myself included, loved Hamelin's Haydn. But some listeners found his readings idiosyncratic, played too quickly and with too much focus on Hamelin's astounding technique. The best way to judge Hamelin's Haydn is to hear it for oneself. I continue to be awed.

Hyperion has now issued a second volume of Hamelin playing Haydn. This new release includes nine new sonatas, the sonata-length "Variations in f minor" and a short Fantasia for good measure. Undoubtedly, the reception of Hamelin's first Haydn release and the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Haydn's death celebrated this year (1732 - 1809) helped inspire this new release. But the main attraction is the scope and breadth of Haydn's music for the piano. Although it has been frequently recorded, Haydn's piano music has never received its due. This double CD, together with its predecessor, will awaken many listeners who know Haydn as a symphonist and composer of string quartets to Haydn as a composer for the piano.

In my own celebration of Haydn, I have been reviewing the individual CDs in a ten-CD compilation on Naxos of the sonatas by Jeno Jando. But I put this project on hold, briefly, to hear Hamelin. These performances are stunning in their sheer joy, brilliance, and eclat. They also capture the reflective, tragic side of the composer that is frequently overlooked. Many of Haydn's sonatas were written as teaching pieces.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamelin's Second Haydn 1 Sep 2009
By Robin Friedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
In 2007, the virtuoso pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin released a two-CD compilation of ten piano sonatas by Haydn. The recording received widespread critical acclaim. It became a best-seller for Hyperion, the British record label. The CD also received attention from the Amazon reviewing community with a wide-range of thoughtful reviews. Most listeners, myself included, loved Hamelin's Haydn. But some listeners found his readings idiosyncratic, played too quickly and with too much focus on Hamelin's astounding technique. The best way to judge Hamelin's Haydn is to hear it for oneself. I continue to be awed.

Hyperion has now issued a second volume of Hamelin playing Haydn. This new release includes nine new sonatas, the sonata-length "Variations in f minor" and a short Fantasia for good measure. Undoubtedly, the reception of Hamelin's first Haydn release and the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Haydn's death celebrated this year (1732 - 1809) helped inspire this new release. But the main attraction is the scope and breadth of Haydn's music for the piano. Although it has been frequently recorded, Haydn's piano music has never received its due. This double CD, together with its predecessor, will awaken many listeners who know Haydn as a symphonist and composer of string quartets to Haydn as a composer for the piano.

In my own celebration of Haydn, I have been reviewing the individual CDs in a ten-CD compilation on Naxos of the sonatas by Jeno Jando. But I put this project on hold, briefly, to hear Hamelin. These performances are stunning in their sheer joy, brilliance, and eclat. They also capture the reflective, tragic side of the composer that is frequently overlooked. Many of Haydn's sonatas were written as teaching pieces. At some level, they can be performed by aspiring pianists of varying attainment. To have them played by a performer of world-class power and technique might seem like overkill. Hamelin's musicianship is at least the equal of his technique and he gives us a Haydn that is seldom heard elsewhere: idiomatic, humorous, varied, beautifully articulated, but powerful.

Of Haydn's 60-odd piano sonatas (numbers vary), roughly half were composed for the harpsichord. Hamelin's first release included two or three early works but its focus was on Haydn's compositions for piano. This CD consists exclusively of works Haydn wrote with the piano in mind. For me, the major attractions on this recording were two late Haydn sonatas, in C major, Hob. 48 and in E-flat major, Hob. 49. It is difficult not to be reminded of Beethoven's debt to Haydn in hearing this broad-scaled sonatas. The C major sonata is in two movements, with a slow meditative opening that passes between C major and minor, and a rapid, flamboyant, almost orchestral concluding movement. The E-flat major sonata's opening movement reminded me of one of Beethoven's lesser-known sonatas, opus 22 in B-flat major, which I have been learning. It is a rambunctious, strongly rhythmical movement based on a fluttering four-note phrase. The second movement of the E flat major sonata, especially in its middle section, is one of the most passionate, ardent pieces Haydn ever wrote. The work concludes with a rondo which succeeds in lightening the dramatic tension of the earlier movements.

Other highlights of this CD include the two minor-key works, the f minor variations and the e minor sonata, Hob. 34. The former was among Haydn's last compositions for the piano and is based on contrasting themes in F major and f minor. The variations work to a high degree of intensity at their conclusion. The e-minor sonata includes a tragic, stark opening movement, an embellished slow movement, and a contrasting finale appropriately marked "innocentemente". Hamelin's readings of the Sonata in C major, Hob.35, with has been compared with Mozart's famous "sonata facile" in the same key, and of the Sonata in G major Hob 39 also warrant particular mention in this recording filled with outstanding Haydn.

As did its predecessor, this release includes detailed, scholarly notes by Richard Wigmore on each of the sonatas. The 2 CD set also sells for the price of a single Hyperion CD, making it accessible to many listeners. This set and its predecessor will provide inexhaustible delight for listeners who know or who want to get to know Haydn's piano music.

Robin Friedman
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Haydn Winner from Hamelin! 7 Nov 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought the first volume of this set out of curiosity - I bought the second because the first wa so good.
Haydn sonatas have been played by all the great pianists (and some of us not so great!!)
This volume explores some of the lesser known territory and is all the better for that. The Fminor variations in particular were a revelation.
I love Haydn but until now mainly the Quartets and symphonies. Now it is time for Hadyn to emerge as father of the piano sonata too!

If you buy this disc you will not be disappointed.Hamelin;s playing is wonderful and Hyperion's sound as excellent as usual.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atypical Haydn 19 Nov 2009
By Thomas Randleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
We have come of expect the jaunty and often surprise elements of Haydn's music but this CD features a slightly different program.

Marc-Andre Hamelin's performances are centered on the piano Sonatas and they are wonderfully reflective and evocative of Mozart's adagio sections of Concertos.

Collectors sometimes seem to have many versions of the same works by a composer by various artists and it is a delightful occurrence to find these sonatas in a different mode from Haydn.

I look forward to the other volumes in this set by Marc-Andre Hamelin, who plays with great feeling and style.

Thomas Lee Randleman
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good on extended listening 23 Dec 2011
By scholarboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am going to revise my review, with a major uptick in the rating from 2 to 3 and now to a qualified 4 stars. I will admit that on first listening, with my ear attuned to Brendel, McCabe and especially Bavouzet, I may have been hasty in so completely dismissing Hamelin. On the other hand, I have had a chance to read the reviews of Vol.1, which I don't own, and it's very fascinating to see the tremendous divergence of opinion. Even more so that some of the top 50 critics love him, and other top 50s dislike his playing so viscerally. So, I still feel that Hamelin is displaying too much "Hamelin" and not enough Haydn. But, on further hearings, I will admit he brings a poetry to Haydn that Brendel and Bavouzet may somewhat overlook. But he gives up so much of the "long-line" in so many movements, and makes so many phrases stand out in isolation from the pieces as a whole, that in general I still feel he lacks a true sense of the style. Perhaps he hasn't studied the works enough or doesn't appreciate the style as does Bavouzet, who makes many of these same sonatas sound so exciting. Too many of the works in Hamelin's hands come off as minor eighteeenth century salon works. Perhaps it's his technique, like so many early twentienth century players in Mozart, but he simply makes the music seem too precious. Still I am enjoying it more than I thought on repeated listening.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Admirable contribution to Haydn piano sonatas 18 Feb 2010
By Bing-Alguin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The second volume of Marc-André Hamelin's recordings of Haydn's piano sonatas, still composed of works from the later period, makes a new admirable contribution to this repertoire, which is maybe not so winning as the symphonies and the string quartets but certainly is well worth a greater attention by great interpreters.
Hamelin attempts to underline the composer's versatility also in this genre and tries all the time to avoid the indisputable monotony, which haunts our ears when listening to these 18th century neo-classicist works, spoilt as they are by the sumptuousness of late-Romanticism. I even think he has enhanced the liveliness and expressivity and the humorous effects since the first volume in order to make the sonatas sparkle still more. I found a streak of entertainment in these pieces that was charming without reducing the intrinsic musical value. In particular, I enjoyed No 31 in E major, No 35 in C major and No 39 in G major - lovely pieces all of them.
What also increases the glory of this volume is the short but delightful "Fantasia (Capriccio) in C major", and especially the glorious "Sonata 'Un piccolo divertimento' (Variations) in F minor", one of Haydn's most ravishing pieces of music. Yes, "divertimento"! - but this one is by no means a light musical entertainment. Annie Fischer once made an incomparably fine recording of it, though unfortunately much shortened, but Hamelin's version is, as far as I can see, complete and performed with all the accuracy this variation piece is worth, with serenity and that stunningly unexpected outburst towards the end that gives it a place in the middle of the Beethoven dynamics to come. This must be one of the foremost works in the whole piano literature, and Hamelin pays it the honor of a sublime interpretation, in itself worth most of the price of these two records.
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