In short this is an indispensable set for Prokofiev admirers and all enthusiasts of 20th century music. Roll on Volume Three. The latest disc is dominated by the jolly Sonata No 15 in E, the tripping ornamental motifs of which tumble out with a mixture of nonchalance and elegance. This is actually one of the moste serious and revealing works in his keyboard output - he even took the trouble to extend and intensify its dramatic coda before publication. In addition to the familiar final version, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet also offers us the opportunity to hear the work with Haydn's unpublished original coda.
Either way, this is among the finest accounts on disc: searchingly nuanced from moment to moment yet never losing its grip on the work's tragic progress. Bavouzet's reading of the three selected Sonatas in this latest instalment of his ongoing series are all equally illuminating in different ways. He's wonderfully dry and droll in the opening movement of the early Sonata No. XVI: 19 , and dazzling in the quick changes of its rondo-variaton finale. XVI: 23 and crisp grandeur to the discursive opening of the more popular-style Sonata No.
The decorations Bavouzet adds from time to time always sound spontaneous and are often varied in repeats. For Chandos, with which he has an exclusive contract, he has made many forays into the music of his native country; unsurprisingly, his recordings of Debussy in particular have been hailed as sympathetic and idiomatic, while losing nothing by being notably clear-sighted and well-focused. His 'turn' to Haydn - this is the fourth volume in a series that remains a work in progress, and a project for the long term: previous issues were reviewed in March and April and November - demonstrates identical virtues when applied to Haydn's vastly different idiom.
Here, then, are three more Haydn sonatas along with a famous set of variations, done on modern piano with notable attention to clarity and texture: Bavouzet's articulation and scupulous pedalling feel always in style, never anachronistic. Nor does he allow himself over-much freedom with the texts: he may just add an occasional mordent or turn in a repeated section and he is generous with repeats, obediently playing second halves when prescribed , but resists any temptation to Robert Levin-like elaboration.
A six-four chord near the end of the Andante of the D major Sonata prompts the inclusion of a cadenza by another pianist with a deep love of Haydn, Zoltan Kocsis, a moment that certainly hints at the existence of other pianistic idioms, but it is very brief: blink, and you might well miss it.
There is one more textual curiosity. The last track of all is an alternative version of the end of the late great set of Variations in F minor: looking at the MS some years ago, Bavouzet found that Haydn had first thought to preface the conclusion with a very short cadenza, subsequently crossing it out. He wrote it out for himself, and includes it here. However, it is certainly worth acquisition not only for Bavouzet's positive assets as outlined above, to which can be added a generous dose of wit and sparkle but also, of course, for the marvellous music it contains.
The F minor Variations may well be familiar as one of Haydn's greatest keyboards works, with their huge and sombre coda finally dissolving pianissimo. The composer's designation of them as Un piccolo divertimento must have preceded the actual work of composition!
What ingenuity and originality and teasing of player and listener alike there is in the sonatas that Bavouzet has carefully placed alongside each other. The D major - another Divertimento! The finale is a kind of two-part invention, in perpetual motion. This disc features one of the few early sonatas to be authenticated, the substantial No 30 from the early s, and a pair of much more directly appealing sonatas, roughly contemporaneous, from the first group Haydn wrote expressly for publication — Nos 38 and Best of all is the celebrated Variations in F minor from But the real discovery here is a new version of the wonderful, touching Variations in F minor.
Bavouzet has transcribed a version of the piece's great climax which Haydn deleted in his manuscript; but with cunning programming you can hear both this and the later, greater version. Like Bach's first, short cadenza to the fifth Brandenburg, Haydn's first thought is well worth hearing.enter site
Haydn Piano Sonatas complete [KM]: Classical Reviews- November MusicWeb(UK)
Rather than confining the three Op. The only question now is: after such an outstanding start to his complete cycle, how can Bavouzet maintain this sense of discovery — and how long must we wait for the next instalment? The French pianist made his name with Ravel and Haydn, and the older composer comes to mind when the opening theme of the first Sonata shoots elegantly upwards. The following slow movement is Haydnesque, yet its lovingly tended phrases, swathed in rubato, suggest a Romantic Age beckoning.
Revelations are many.
On the same disc, the witty Finale of a C major Sonata pits gleaming passagework against lean, almost sketch-like episodes. How beautifully Bavouzet gauges the massive chords that introduce the Pathetique Sonata and what a drama-filled narrative he makes of its first movement. A slightly later C minor Sonata Op 10 no 1 can seem prosaic in the wrong hands; here it has fire and fervour.
A few tracks on, a playful F major Presto sounds as if the composer is trying to contain a cheeky fugue in a pressure-cooker. At the other end of the spectrum, a D minor Largo e mesto is imbued with a sense of deep tragedy, laid out note by anguished note. As a bonus, Bavouzet offers two movements from Opus 10 no 1 that fell on the cutting-room floor, one a fascinating glimpse of some extra working-out that the composer intended for its Rondo.
Bavouzet is in his prime and further Beethoven volumes are eagerly awaited. Colin Clarke Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is without doubt one of today's most intelligent and questing pianists. From Massenet to Ohana, from Stockhausen to Haydn, he seems to excel in all he touches. The freshness of his Haydn means that his affinity with early Beethoven should come as no surprise. Yet the mixing of Beethoven and French pianists has not always been a happy one; indeed, with the honourable exceptions of Walter Gieseking and Yves Nat, it is difficult to think of significant names apologies to Pommier and Pludermacher , never mind trace a lineage.
Haydn: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-62
Bavouzet's F minor Op 2 No 1 is most decidedly post-Haydn. He includes both repeats in the first movement. Traits that can be traced throughout this set become evident: carefully delineated textures, an awareness of caprice Beethoven's wit, not Haydn's , and a thread of unquenchable energy unfettered by any technical concerns. Like some other pianists Pollini springs to mind , Bavouzet sees these Op 2 sonatas as major statements rather than early works, something made clear by the depth of the slow movements.
There is fire in his belly, too - he clearly finds the velocity of the F minor's finale irresistible again, he includes the second half repeat. Dynamism wins over playfulness in Op 2 No 2. Once more, it is the slow movement that impresses the most, with its superb evocation of a pizzicato bass and its deliberately harsh sonorities, superbly caught by the Chandos recording team. The stunning articulation that characterised Bavouzet's Haydn recordings is carried over to his Beethoven, and Op 2 No 3 is the best showcase for this.
He is keen to show the emotional scope of the piece, with the first movement containing musing mystery, and he is heard at his most sonically imposing in the slow movement with its organ-like bass octaves. The Allegro fizzes, and the return to the Grave is a true dramatic coup. The second disc ends with the two Op 14 sonatas, presented with such care that there is little doubt they should be included in the canon not all pianists choose to include them.
The three Op 10 sonatas provide a challenge, one Bavouzet rises to fearlessly. The first movement of the C minor is given surely the most jet-propelled reading in the catalogue, its first movement clipped and brusque to contrast with the exploratory Adagio molto. Bavouzet demonstrates the same superb control in the F major, enabling him to reveal the multifaceted Op 10 No 3 in all its variety. The two addenda add significant interest: a discarded Presto with Trio from Op 10 No 1, and the original finale with longer development reconstructed by William Drabkin, who also provides fine booklet notes for this release.
This is a significant, fascinating issue. If possible, Bavouzet is even better in the hugely demanding Opus 7, a grand sonata both in length and virtuosity, and he is completely up for the high-octane mood of the first movement and the otherworldly grace of the Largo. Another great release in a standard-setting series. Without letting personality obtrude, his [Bavouzet] approach is nevertheless uniquely personal. The subtlety, humour and grace of his playing is undergirded by a keenly perceptive intellectual grasp and unfailing musicality.
No doubt these performances will afford pleasure and insight for many years to come. This is sublime playing Bavouzet plays these inventive masterpieces with real love. I am going to find the first one and keep an eye out for the others. So should you. This is actually the first piece on the program — a delectable aperitif. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is an unbeatable soloist, and the orchestral playing under Mena is irreproachable These performances seemed immediately communicative; immediately right.
Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic admirably second the sensitivity and strength of the soloist In league with the finely honed BBC Philharmonic, these are performances vibrant in colour, vital in rhythm and detail and viscerally exciting in impact. The piano is placed with its percussion comrades, emphasising the vitality of the writing The polish of its execution is remarkable. This is a great partnership, a stunning disc and an early contender for those end-of-year awards. Wonderful playing and excellent orchestral accompaniments.
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Never lacking power , his pianism is also elegant and feather light.
Related Piano Sonata no. 43 in E-flat major, Op. 14, no. 2, HobXVI/28
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