Haydn: Piano Sonata in A, Hob. XVI:26; Piano Sonata in B minor, Hob. XVI:32; Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, Hob. XVI:36; Piano Sonata in D, Hob. XVI:37; Piano Sonata in E flat, Hob. XVI:49

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COMPOSERS: Haydn
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Piano Sonata in A, Hob. XVI:26; Piano Sonata in B minor, Hob. XVI:32; Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, Hob. XVI:36; Piano Sonata in D, Hob. XVI:37; Piano Sonata in E flat, Hob. XVI:49
PERFORMER: Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 5 56756 2
Identifying Haydn’s keyboard sonatas can be a decidedly dicey business. On this CD two numbers are given for each work – the number which appears in italics in New Grove, and the more familiar one in Hoboken’s catalogue. What we are not told is that, in the commonly encountered Wiener Urtext Edition, edited by Christa Landon and published by Universal, these are Sonatas 41, 47, 49, 50 and 59. And that’s the numbering found on most labels today.

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Andsnes uses a modern Bösendorfer piano, plays just what Haydn wrote, only very occasionally slips a bit of decoration into a repeat, and ignores cadence points. But he is sensitive to the music’s demands and never sounds deadpan. His articulation is neat and clear, and he has a nice line in punchy staccato where it’s needed to project a phrase forward. There’s plenty of brio in the first movement of the D major Sonata, a teasing quality in his handling of the C sharp minor Sonata’s Scherzando and perhaps a little too much licence in the same work’s concluding minuet. He passes the E flat Sonata’s second subject from one hand to the other in splendid style. A pleasing disc. Wadham Sutton