Haydn: Flute Trios in G, Hob. XV:15, in D, Hob. XV:16, & in D, Hob. XV:17

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COMPOSERS: Haydn
LABELS: Simax
WORKS: Flute Trios in G, Hob. XV:15, in D, Hob. XV:16, & in D, Hob. XV:17
PERFORMER: Musica Domestica
CATALOGUE NO: PSC 1211

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Where would the chamber repertoire be without Joseph Haydn? As with his development of sonata form, the symphony and the string quartet, he can claim much of the credit for emancipating instruments that were previously confined to sundry accompanying roles. In the latter half of the 18th century the string quartet was not so much a discussion between four friends as a lecture by the verbose violins. Similarly, the piano trio was effectively a piano sonata, in which a violin or flute added to the texture and the cello simply chugged away unimaginatively in the bass register. The opening movement of the second of the two D major Trios on this engaging disc demonstrates the progress made by the mature Haydn. The piano may still be the dominant partner, but both the flute and the cello have plenty of chances to comment on the principal motifs. Commissioned in 1789, these three Trios for piano, flute and cello are ideal exponents for the virtues of period instruments. These performances from Musica Domestica do not disappoint, the flute combining deliciously with the demure timbre of the 1801 Broadwood piano.

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Christopher Dingle