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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
15
Haydn: Piano Sonatas (DECCA The Originals)
Format: Audio CD|Change
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 12 May 2016
What a fantastic reissue this is! I have owned and loved the originals for many years, they are a real treasure of my collection and I am delighted to see them available at budget price.

Haydn's Piano Sonatas are very fine works - full of his characteristic invention, melody and sheer craftsmanship and in my view are at least the equal of Mozart's Piano Sonatas. Haydn's wit and twinkle are all well in evidence, there's real drama in places and also limpid beauty - the free-standing Adagio in F which closes Disc 2 is simply exquisite, for example. It's wonderful music which I return to again and again

Alfred Brendel, of course, plays it magnificently. It is almost redundant nowadays to praise his playing because it has been so reliably excellent for well over half a century, but it is still worth doing. Technical perfection allows Brendel really to allow the music's quality to shine out in all its variety and he captures every bit of it. If there is a flaw or misjudgement anywhere on these discs I've not found it in years of listening.

I simply cannot praise this set highly enough. I genuinely think it stands comparison with Brendel's classic Beethoven and Schubert sonata cycles, and my only complaint is that he only recorded these four discs of Haydn - a Complete Cycle would have been magnificent. It's is a superlative set, now at a real bargain price. If you like Haydn or Mozart, or just want great piano music played to perfection, don't hesitate. Recommended in the warmest possible terms.
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on 2 April 2017
Get this if you don't know Haydn's piano music and you'll love it at once. It's like Beethoven without shouting and you can tell where Schubert comes from. Brendel is as near perfect as you could wish.
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on 21 March 2017
this reissue set is not as clear as the individual philips cds. I listened to both last night and myself and my wife agree this later set has something missing. Come on decca transfer it better.
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 27 February 2010
What a fantastic reissue this is! I have owned and loved the originals for many years, they are a real treasure of my collection and I am delighted to see them available at budget price.

Haydn's Piano Sonatas are very fine works - full of his characteristic invention, melody and sheer craftsmanship and in my view are at least the equal of Mozart's Piano Sonatas. Haydn's wit and twinkle are all well in evidence, there's real drama in places and also limpid beauty - the free-standing Adagio in F which closes Disc 2 is simply exquisite, for example. It's wonderful music which I return to again and again

Alfred Brendel, of course, plays it magnificently. It is almost redundant nowadays to praise his playing because it has been so reliably excellent for well over half a century, but it is still worth doing. Technical perfection allows Brendel really to allow the music's quality to shine out in all its variety and he captures every bit of it. If there is a flaw or misjudgement anywhere on these discs I've not found it in years of listening.

I simply cannot praise this set highly enough. I genuinely think it stands comparison with Brendel's classic Beethoven and Schubert sonata cycles, and my only complaint is that he only recorded these four discs of Haydn - a Complete Cycle would have been magnificent. It's is a superlative set, now at a real bargain price. If you like Haydn or Mozart, or just want great piano music played to perfection, don't hesitate. Recommended in the warmest possible terms.
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on 15 August 2015
I have the complete piano sonatas by Beethoven & Mozart but I find that these recordings of Haydn's sonatas seem to slip onto the cd player more often that I expected them to be doing so, before I became thoroughly acquainted with them. Brendel's thoughtful and considered playing reveals the genius of Haydn.. music full of vitality, of wit & of varying mood. I particularly listen to the discs when I need to relax and return to a sense of equilibrium, to the feeling that all is right with the world...even though I may know it is not! Haydn makes the very best of musical companions.
Purchasing the cds from Amazon gave me the MP3 versions as well, which makes the set of four cds very good value indeed.
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on 28 May 2013
In his time Haydn was number one, so why is he hardly ever broadcast or heard live in the concert hall/recital room? Brendel plays these masterpieces brilliantly - I'm so glad that I purchased these two CDs.
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on 10 January 2014
Towards the end of his career, Brendel was God-Emperor of the Gramophone and fawned over by the British press to a nauseating degree. Stupefyingly, he commands three volumes in the "Great Pianists of the 20th Century" whereas other virtuosos were cast nakedly into the darkness (and remember how they included Brendel's Chopin in Volume III? Here, the ghost-train comes to town). Those concerto recordings he made in the Nineties, (be they diet-gruel Mozart with Mackerras, his Beethoven snooze-fest with Rattle, his lumpy Brahms with Abbado or his senescent Schumann with Sanderling), are all clay in the feet of the colossus. Age will weary them and the years condemn. Much to my relief, the Mayor of Hiroshima has banned Complete Piano Sonatas from the city-precincts. All power to him: it's an update of Little Boy.

From what I can predicate of Uncle Alfred, he has not orchestrated such acclaim; a showman he ain't; it arose spontaneously. His semi-percussive tone and restraint, I suggest, appeal to an age that had lost its nerve and with it, its taste for big gestures. In others words, Brendel is in the baggage-train of period-practice with the jugglers, wastrels and thin-lipped harlots.

The only Brendel that I regularly air is his Haydn survey from the late Seventies-early Eighties. The Brendel of this vintage is ideally suited to the Master of Eszterháza. The latter's wit, playfulness and classical poise are aligned with his temperament. I have yet to hear a better 48 on the market: oh, to be so young again! Indeed, one could almost gazette it as Brendel's claim to fame. The angst and desolation of the great Sturm und Drang Sonata in C Minor (No. 20), are magisterially addressed: its Andante con moto essays a bereavement that goes beyond a mere body-count: Brendel is unflinching as its exponent. Sure, (Horowitz: The Last Recording) makes more of the slow movement of No. 49 (St Paul's challenge, "O Death, where is thy sting?' receives its answer here), but that's an unfair comparison: who can compete with such alchemy? The great Variations in F Minor are superbly paced.

The recordings, a mixture of analogue or digital, are excellent. This box set is Brendel's "eternal summer", not the three gaudy Volumes mentioned above. Spurn them! Buy this!
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on 31 January 2012
This is an expensive disc but so well worth it. Brendel is one of THE pianists of our age and his attention to detail & expression is obvious. I had heard one of the pieces on Classic FM and just had to have it in my library - I'm so glad I did..[[ASIN:B001JJX7ME Haydn: Piano Sonatas]
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on 8 May 2011
As ever with Brendel, stylish and thoroughly well played. I see someone gave the set two stars - basically because they 'couldn't get into Haydn yet'. So I suggest, listen to at least one Haydn piano sonata to make sure you like the highly classical format! If you like Haydn and like Brendel, you can't go wrong.
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on 12 December 2012
A highly enjoyable recital by Alfred Brendel.
His style gives us full opportunity to listen to & appreciate the music of Haydn without distracting interpretation.
Well worth adding to your library.
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