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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Viennese Classicism from Rudolf Buchbinder, 29 July 2012
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Mr. Mark A. Meldon (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Haydn : Piano Sonatas (Audio CD)
The hugely under-rated pianist Rudolf Buchbinder recorded this set of Haydn's Piano Sonatas for what was then Telefunken in 1974 and 1975; the set was based on the then decade-old "Wiener-Urtext-Ausgabe", edited by Christa Landon and came out on three very expensive LP boxed sets. The set has been out on CD before Haydn : Piano Sonatas [Complete] (and on several individual Teldec discs), but this least expensive version was released by Warner Classics for the 2009 Haydn anniversary celebrations. You recieve 10-CDs in a card wallet box, together with a brief booklet note from Misha Donat.

When Telefunken originally released the recordings, it was at the same time as the rather better-known Decca set from the pianist/composer John McCabe Haydn: The Piano Sonatas, a set that got a rather more positive critical reception from, for example, "The Gramophone". Whilst I have only heard some of the Decca set, I'm very pleased to have Buchbinder's recordings, for one particular reason. I think that he has great rhythm, clarity, and that hard-to-pin-down, Viennese style - most important attributes in this group of keyboard works. The recordings, made in the Teldec Studio Berlin, sound just fine to my ears; indeed, the piano sounds quite like a fortepiano from time-to-time, appropriate to the music.

As far as the music is concerned, much of the early Sonatas are not worth hearing more than once or twice; it seems that these were mainly written as student/study pieces. The later Sonatas have, in the decades since these recordings were made, become much better-known, entering the repertoire of many pianists. Excellent selections have been recorded by Alfred Brendel Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Andreas Staier Haydn: Sonatas and Variations (Andreas Staier Edition, Vol 3) /Staier (fortepiano), Andras Schiff Haydn - Piano Sonatas, Emanuel Ax Haydn Piano Sonatas, and Leif Ove Andsnes Haydn - Piano Sonatas, to name but a few.

I recommend this comprehensive set from Rudolf Buchbinder to those wanting a budget, excellently played, complete set of Haydn's Piano Sonatas making use of a modern instrument. For those, like me, who tend to prefer that music is performed on instruments roughly contemporaneous with the compositions being played, then the Capriccio set from Christine Schornsheim Haydn: Complete Piano Sonatas is very highly recommended (and even more "complete").
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